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The Harvey Cusbing Fund 











" He comes to you with a tale which holdeth children from play, and old men from 
the chimney corner." — Sir Philip Sidney 





\ RI33 

Press of 

G. P. Putnam' 's Sons 

New York 



INTRODUCTION—" The Talisman," from Sir Walter Scott. 5 


I. Eminent Physicians in Ancient Times, from Hippocrates 

to Galen 20 

II. The Dark Ages — Mahometan ism in Europe; Medicine, 

Christianity, and Law Blighted 50 

III. The Medical Profession about Two Hundred Years ago 65 

IV. Old-Time Theory of the Nature and Cause of Nervous 

Maladies 9 2 

V. The Treatment of Nervous Distempers as then Prac- 
tised 122 

VI. "what was Alchemy in the Seventeenth Century ? 136 

VII. Analysis of Homceopathy 177 

APPENDIX — References and Corroborating Testimony 219 


These chapters record medical history, and the suc- 
cessive medical schools and sects ; also the medical im- 
provements along the ages, excepting the present, — these 
being the gleanings of special studies in medical history. 
The work is addressed to the profession, especially the 
younger portion of it, and to an intelligent public, in 
plain language for all readers. Many a beautiful and cor- 
recting thought, many a wise and helpful suggestion 
come down to us through these quaint old stories. They 
help us to eliminate myth and fallacy from the true, and 
show us scientific knowledge. 

Here are traced the rise and progress of the great 
medical profession, the old and new healing art ; also the 
new phase of a very old-fashioned medical " school," each 
inspected anew, by routes not usually taken, so that im- 
portant facts that should be familiar to every one may 
be readily understood by any and all. 

It is interesting to study the rise and fall of empires, 
and to discover their cause; so is it to observe the rise 
and struggling progress of art, science, philosophy, or 
mechanics, or any department thereof ; to learn the 
cause of bias, or the hindering influences, — as from ignor- 
ance, or some pre-occupying false idea, or the fatal mis- 
leading of some foolish err'or introduced, it being first 
taught and elaborated perhaps by a mere visionary or 


conceited and erratic teacher, who became eminent only- 
through the errors he led others to accept. The right 
and the wrong teachings of Aristotle and of Galen in- 
fluenced the medical and the popular mind, their ideas 
and doings, for many ages. In like manner, and worse, 
the mere theoretical and chimerical teachings of Van 
Helmont, Paracelsus, and others have led astray a faction 
of the medical world, besides multitudes of other people, 
for ages more. 

Having been much in the habit for over forty years, 
from the necessity of his specialty, of examining recent 
medical literature, especially that which aims to ascertain 
the cause, and point out the cure, of nervous diseases, 
the author was now and then led to search also well back 
into the earlier experiences of physicians in other ages, 
and in other states of society; which has impressed him 
with the curiosity and interest that would be elicited in 
this subject by the public generally if they could but see 
it. Why should not otherwise intelligent ladies and gen- 
tlemen have access to this line of ancient literature, and 
to the story of "medical improvement" through the 
ages ? It is an accomplishment to know how to distin- 
guish between reasonable and unreasonable expectations 
from the physician or his remedies ; to discriminate be- 
tween the true and false physician, as well as between 
true and false remedies ; this concerns everybody. 

The preparing, for popular reading, of this series of 
sketches of "The Old-school Doctors," and of medical 
writers of antiquity, and especially the showing how long 
continued was the want of a correct knowledge of anatomy 
and of physiology, — of real nerves, their nature and office. 
— and of various affections, their cause and cure, is but an- 
swering the oft-repeated queries from the laity on this sub- 
ject that every practitioner has had to hear. The more cor- 


rectly and fully informed the individual or community is 
in real medical matters the greater is the honest and 
hearty respect for the true physician and his prescription. 
And this confidence tends to save health and life. The 
last chapter of this little book logically grew out of the 
discussion of the real old-school doctor and medical dog- 
matism, from the earliest times to the latest. 

To be ignorant is lamentable, but to be misled is dan- 
gerous and degrading. It is not honorable, nor just to 
the present or rising generation, for physicians and other 
cultivated and respectable bodies, or for individuals, now 
in the midst of the electric blaze of modern science, 
humanity, and Christianity, to condone, countenance, or 
even tolerate by silent connivance, a subtle and danger- 
ous organized error, that presumes to claim and assume 
the attitude of being a part of the great medical profes- 
sion ; in which fact, every individual in society is inter- 
ested. All true physicians are now called upon to im- 
prove every opportunity to instruct the people, and so 
correct popular medical fallacies. 

In this book, then, three principal subjects are present- 
ed for the consideration of the reader. First, under what 
circumstances were nervous affections first described, 
and what were supposed to be their cause and nature, and 
what was the treatment in those times? Second, when 
did the general revival of rational medical research com- 
mence, which resulted in the present radical reformation, 
excellence, and unity of the regular profession into district 
societies, and these into state and national associations, 
and these into an international congress ? Third, whether 
the often-repeated epithet "old-school" applies now to 
the regular medical profession of the present time, or 
rather to the strictly " dogmatic schools " and sects of 
the past and present ? 


Finally, this may show us from whence, how far, and 
how fast we have come on in the healing art ; and it may 
also serve as a background to the very numerous and 
beautiful word-pictures to be seen in various medical and 
other literature of the day, showing the marvellous and 
multitudinous " medical improvements," as well as pre- 
ventive medicine ; all of which every person needs to know 
about, and many now rejoice in. 


" ' Yea, let that passe,' quoth our Host, ' as now, 
Sir Doctor Physic, I praye you, 
Tell us a Tale of some honest matteYe.' 
' It shall be done, if that yc will it hear,' 
Saith this Doctor ; and his tale gan anon. 
' Now good men,' quoth he, ' hearken every one. 

' But first I pray you of your courtesy, 

That ye arette it not my villainy, 

Though that I plainly speak in this mattere. 

For this ye knowen all, so well as I, 

Whoso shall tell a tale after a man, 

He must rehearse, as nigh as ever he can, 

Every word, if it be in his charge, 

Or elles he must tell his tale untrue. 

He may not spare, although he were his brother ; 

, . . He must as well say one word as another. 

Eke Plato saith, whoso that him can read, 

The wordie must be cousin to the deed. 

Also I pray you to forgive it me, 

All have I not set folk in their degree, 

Here in this tale, as that they shoulden stand ; 

My wit is short, ye may well understand." 

Prologue in Canterbury Tale. 

" Of all people who ever lived, the Persians were per- 
haps the most remarkable for their credulity and un- 

introduction; g 

shaken faith in amulets, spells, periapts, and similar 
charms, framed, it was said, under the influence of par- 
ticular planets, and bestowing high medical powers, as 
well as the means of advancing men's fortunes in various 
manners.* A story, relating to a Crusader of eminence, 
is often told in the west of Scotland, and the relic alluded 
to, the Talisman, is still in existence, and is even yet held 
in veneration. 

" Sir Simon Lockhart of Lee and Cortland made a 
considerable figure in the reign of Robert the Bruce and 
of his son David. He was one of the chief of that band 
of Scottish chivalry who accompanied James, the good 
Lord Douglas, on his expedition to the Holy Land. 
Douglas, impatient to get at the Saracens, entered into 
war with those of Spain, and was killed there. Lockhart 
proceeded to the Holy Land with such Scottish knights 
as had escaped the fate of their leader, and assisted for 
some time in the wars against the Saracens. The follow- 
ing adventure is said by tradition to have befallen him : — 

" He made prisoner in battle an emir of considerable 
wealth and consequence. The aged mother of the cap- 
tive came to the Christian camp, to redeem her son from 
his state of captivity. Lockhart is said to have fixed the 
price of ransom ; and the lady, pulling out a large em- 
broidered purse, proceeded to tell down the ransom, like 
a mother who pays little respect to gold in comparison 
of her son's liberty. In this operation, a pebble inserted 
in a coin, some say of the Lower Empire, fell out of the 
purse, and the Saracene matron testified so much haste 
to recover it, as gave the Scottish knight a high idea of 
its value, when compared with gold or silver. ' I will 
not consent,' he said, ' to grant your son's liberty, unless 
that amulet be added to his ransom.' The lady not only 

*" The Talisman," by Sir Walter Scott, p. 7. 


consented to this, but explained to Sir Simon Lockhart 
the mode in which the Talisman was to be used, and the 
uses to which it might be put. The water in which it 
was dipped operated as a styptic, as a febrifuge, and 
possessed several other properties as a medical talisman. 

" Sir Simon Lockhart, after much experience of the 
wonders which it wrought, brought it to his own country, 
and left it to his heirs, by whom, and by Clydesdale in 
general, it was, and is still, distinguished by the name of 
the ' Lee-penny,' from the name of his native seat of 

" The most remarkable part of its history, perhaps, 
was, that it so especially escaped condemnation when the 
Church of Scotland chose to impeach many other cures, 
which savored of the miraculous, as occasioned by sor- 
cery, and censured the appeal to them, ' excepting only 
that to the amulet called the Lee-penny, to which it 
had pleased God to annex certain healing virtues, which 
the Church did not- presume to condemn.' It still, as 
has been said, exists, and its powers are sometimes re- 
sorted to. Of late, they have been chiefly restricted to 
the cure of persons bitten by mad dogs ; and as the ill- 
ness in such cases frequently arises from imagination 
there can be no doubt that water which has been poured 
on the Lee-penny furnishes a congenial cure." 

Such is the tradition concerning the Talisman that 
came from the Saracens, where it played a prominent 
part in their magical healing of the sick. The following 
example of its use is given : — 

" ' My lord,' said Kenneth, 'in plain language, then, I 
bring with me a Moorish physician, who undertakes to 
work a cure on King Richard.' 

" ' A Moorish physician ! ' said De Vaux ; ' and who will 
warrant that he brings no poison instead of remedies ? ' 


" ' His own life, my lord — his head, which he offers as a 
guarantee. Thus it is, my lord, that Saladin, to whom 
none will deny the credit of a generous and valiant 
enemy, has sent his leech hither with an honorable retinue 
and guard, befitting the high estimation in which El 
Hakim is held by the Soldan, and with fruits and re- 
freshments for the King's private chamber, and such 
message as may pass betwixt honorable enemies, pray- 
ing him to be recovered of his fever, that he may be the 
fitter to receive a visit from the Soldan, with his naked 
scimitar in his hand, and an hundred thousand cavaliers 
at his back. Will it please you, who are of the King's 
secret council, to cause these camels to be discharged of 
their burdens, and some order taken as to the reception 
of the learned physician ? ' 

" ' Wonderful ! ' said De Vaux, as speaking to himself. 
'And who will vouch for the honor of Saladin, in a case 
when bad faith would rid him at once of his most power- 
ful adversary? ' 

" ' I myself,' replied Sir Kenneth, ' will be his guar- 
antee, with honor, life, and fortune.' .... 

" ' I have been absent on a pilgrimage, in the course of 
which,' replied Sir Kenneth, ' I had a message to dis- 
charge towards the holy hermit of Engaddi.' 

" ' Tell me, Sir Knight of the Leopard, granting (which 
I do not doubt) that thou art thyself satisfied in this 
matter, shall I do well, in a land where the art of poison- 
ing is as general as that of cooking, to bring this un- 
known physician to practise with his drugs on a health 
so valuable to Christendom?'' 

" ' My lord,' replied the Scot, ' thus only can I reply: 
that my squire and attendant has been of late suffering 
dangerously under the same fever which, in valiant 


King Richard, has disabled the principal limb of our holy- 
enterprise. This leech, this El Hakim, hath ministered 
remedies to him not two hours ago, and already he hath 
fallen into a refreshing sleep. That he can cure the dis- 
order, which has proved so fatal, I nothing doubt ; that 
he hath the purpose to do it is, I think, warranted by 
his mission from the royal Soldan, who is true hearted 
and loyal, so far as a blinded infidel may be called so ; 
and, for his eventual success, the certainty of reward in 
case of succeeding, and punishment in case of voluntary 
failure, may be a sufficient guarantee.' 

" The Englishman listened with downcast looks, as 
one who doubted, yet was not unwilling to receive con- 
viction. At length he looked up and said, ' May I see 
your sick squire, fair sir?' . . . . 

" Beside the couch sat, on a cushion, also composed of 
skins, the Moorish physician, of whom Sir Kenneth had 
spoken, cross-legged, after the Eastern fashion. . . . 
The English lord entered and stood silent, with a sort of 
reverential awe. Nothing was for a time heard but the 
heavy and regular breathings of the invalid, who seemed 
in profound repose. 

" ' He hath not slept for six nights before,' said Sir 
Kenneth, 'as I am assured by his attendants.' He had 
scarcely uttered these words, when the physician, arising 
from the place which he had taken near the couch of the 
sick, and laying the hand of the patient, whose pulse he 
had been carefully watching, quietly upon the couch, 
came to the two knights, and taking them each by the 
arm, while he intimated to them to remain silent, led 
them to the front of the hut. 

" He said : ' Disturb not the effect of the blessed medi- 
cine of which he hath partaken. To awaken him now, is 
death or deprivation of reason ; but return at the hour 



when the Muezzin calls from the minaret to evening 
prayer in the mosque, and, if left undisturbed until then, 
I promise you, this same Frankish soldier shall be able, 
without prejudice to his health, to hold some brief con- 
verse with you.' .... 

" ' This is a strange tale,' said the sick monarch, when 
he had heard the report of the trusty men 

"'And did they meet the physician?' demanded .the 
king, impatiently 

" ' No, my liege ; but the Saracen, learning your Maj- 
esty's grievous illness, undertook that Saladin should 
send his own physician to you, and with many assurances 
of his eminent skill. He has come, and is attended as 
if he were a prince, with drums and atabals, and servants 
on horse and foot, and brings with him letters of cre- 
dence from Saladin.' .... 

" Richard took a scroll, in which were inscribed these 
words : — 

" ' The blessing of Allah and his Prophet Mohammed ; 
Saladin, king of kings, Soldan of Egypt and of Syria, the 
light and refuge of the earth, to the great Melech Ric, 
Richard of England, greeting: Whereas we have been 
informed that the hand of sickness hath been heavy upon 
thee, our royal brother, and that thou hast with thee only 
such Nazarine and Jewish mediciners as work without 
the blessing of Allah and our holy Prophet, we have 
therefore sent to tend and wait upon thee at this time 
the physician to our own person, Adonbec el Hakim, 
before whose face the angel Azrael (Death) spreads his 
wings, and departs from the sick chamber ; who knows 
the virtues of herbs and stones, the paths of the sun, 
moon, and stars ; and can save man from all that is not 
written on his forehead. And this we do, praying you 
heartily to honor and make use of his skill.' 



.... " ' Hold, hold,' said Richard, ' I will have no 
more of this. It makes me sick to think the valiant 
Soldan should believe in a dead dog. — Yes, I will see his 
physician. I will put myself into the charge of this 
Hakim. I will repay the noble Soldan his generosity — I 
will meet Saladin in the field, as he proposes, and he shall 
have no cause to term Richard of England ungrate- 
ful. I will strike him to the earth with my battle-axe — 
I will convert him to Holy Church with such blows as he 
has rarely endured. He shall recant his errors before my 
good cross-handed sword, and I will have him baptized 
in the battle-field, from my own helmet, though the 
cleansing waters were mixed with the blood of us both. 
Fetch the Hakim hither.' .... 

"The baron De Vauxand the Archbishop of Tyre said 
to the physician : ' We would have oracular proof of thy 
skill, and without it thou approachest not to the couch 
of King Richard.' 

" ' The praise of the physician,' said the Arabian, ' is in 
the recovery of his patient. Behold this sergeant, whose 
blood has been dried up by the fever which has whitened 
your camp with skeletons, and against which the art of 
your Nazarine leeches hath been like a silken doublet 
against a lance of steel. Look at his fingers and arms, 
wasted like the claws and shanks of the crane ! Death 
had this morning his clutch on him ; but had Azrael been 
on one side of the couch, I being on the other, his soul 
should not have been reft from his body. Disturb me not 
with further questions, but await the critical minute, and 
behold in silent wonder the marvellous event.' 

" The physician had then recourse to his astrolabe, the 
oracle of Eastern science, and, watching with grave preci- 
sion until the precise time of the evening prayer had 
arrived, he sunk on his knees, with his face turned to 


Mecca, and recited the petitions which close the Mosle- 
man's day of toil. The bishop and the English baron 
looked on each other, meanwhile, with symptoms of con- 
tempt and indignation, without interrupting El Hakim in 
his devotions. 

" The Arab arose from the earth, on which he had pros- 
trated himself, and, walking into the hut where the 
patient lay extended, he drew a sponge from a small silver 
box, dipped perhaps in some aromatic distillation ; for 
when he put it to the sleeper's nose, he sneezed, awoke, and 
looked wildly around. He was a ghastly spectacle, as 
he sat up almost naked on his couch, the bones and car- 
tilages as visible through the surface of his skin, as if 
they had never been clothed with flesh; his face was 
long, and furrowed with wrinkles. He seemed to be 
aware of his dignified visitors, for he attempted feebly 
to pull the covering from his head, in token of rev- 
erence. . . . 

" ' Your eyes witness,' said the Arabian, ' the fever has 
been subdued — he speaks with calmness and recollection 
— his pulse beats quietly.' 

"'This is most wonderful,' said the knight, looking to 
the bishop ; 'the sick man is assuredly cured. I must 
conduct this mediciner presently to King Richard's tent, 
What thinks your Reverence ? ' 

" ' Stay, let me finish one cure ere I commence another,' 
said the Arab ; ' I will pass with you when I have given 
my patient the second cup of this most holy elixir.' 

" So saying, he pulled out a silver cup, and filled it with 
water from a gourd which stood by the bedside. He next 
drew forth a small silken bag made of network, twisted 
with silver, the contents of which the bystanders could 
not discover, and immersing it in the cup, continued to 
watch it in silence, during the space of five minutes. It 


seemed to the spectators as if some effervescence took 
place during the operation, but if so, it instantly sub- 

" ' Drink,' said the physician to the sick man — ' sleep, 
and awaken free from malady.' 

" 'And with this simple-seeming remedy thou wilt un- 
dertake to cure a monarch ? ' said the Bishop of Tyre. 

" ' I have cured a beggar, as you behold,' replied the 
sage. ' Are the Kings of Frangistan made of other clay 
than the meanest of their subjects?' 

" ' Let us have him presently to the King,' said the 
baron. ' He hath shown that he possesses the secret, 
which may restore his health. If he fails to exercise it, 
I wil' put himself past the power of medicine.' . . . 

" ' This is the Prince of Leeches ; fever, plague, 
Cold rheum, and hot podagra, do but look on him, 
And quit their grasp upon the tortured sinews.' 

" Richard, when they entered his apartment, imme- 
diately exclaimed, ' So ho ! a goodly fellowship come 
to see Richard take his leap in the dark. My noble al- 
lies, I greet you as the representatives of our assembled 
league ; Richard will again be amongst you in his former 
fashion, or ye shall bear to the grave what is left of him. 
— Come, Sir Haikim, to the work, to the work.' 

" The physician, who had already informed himself of 
the various symptoms of the King's illness, now felt his 
pulse for a long time, and with a deep attention, while 
all around stood silent, and in breathless expectation. 
The sage next filled a cup with spring water, and dipped 
into it the small red purse, which, as formerly, he took 
from his bosom. When he seemed to think it sufficiently 
medicated, he was about to offer it to the sovereign, who 
prevented him, by saying, " Hold an instant. Thou hast 



felt my pulse — let me lay my finger on thine ; I too, 
as becomes a good knight, know something of thine 

" The Arab yielded his hand without hesitation. ' His 
blood beats calm as an infant's,' said the King ; ' so throb 
not theirs who poison princes.' .... 

" He then raised himself in bed, took the cup in his 
hand, and said : ' To the immortal honor of the first 
Crusader who shall strike lance or sword on the gate of 
Jerusalem.' He drained the cup to the bottom, then re- 
signed it to the Arabian, who then, with silent but ex- 
pressive signs, directed that all should leave the tent ; 
and the apartment was soon cleared. 

" The critical hour arrived at which the physician, ac- 
cording to the rules of his art, had predicted that his 
royal patient might be awakened with safety, and the 
sponge had been filled and applied for that purpose ; and 
the leech had not made many observations ere he assured 
the baron that the fever had entirely left his sovereign, 
and that such was the happy strength of his constitution, 
that it would not be necessary, as in most cases, to give 
a second dose of the powerful medicine. Richard him- 
self seemed to be of the same opinion, for, sitting up and 
rubbing his eyes, he demanded of De Vaux what present 
sum of money was in the royal coffers. 

"'It matters not,' said Richard; 'be it greater or 
smaller, bestow it all on this learned leech, who hath, I 
trust, given me back again to the service of the Crusade. 
If it be less than a thousand byzants, let him have jewels 
to make it up.' 

"'I sell not the wisdom with which Allah has en- 
dowed me,' answered the Arabian physician, ' and be it 
known to you, great Prince, that the divine medicine, 
of which you have partaken, would loose its effects in 


my unworthy hands, did I exchange its virtues either for 
gold or diamonds.' .... 

" ' Explain thy words,' said Richard. El Hakim an- 
swered, ' Know thou that the medicine to which thou, Sir 
King, and many one beside, owe their recovery, is a 
talisman, composed under certain aspects of the heavens, 
when the Divine Intelligences are most propitious. I 
am but the poor administrator of its virtues. I dip it 
in a cup of water, observe the fitting hour to administer 
it to the patient, and the potency of the draught works 
the cure.' 

'"A most rare medicine,' said the King, 'and a com- 
modious ! and as it may be carried in the leech's pocket, 
or purse, would save the whole caravan of camels which 
they require to convey drugs and physic-stuff. I mar- 
vel there is any other in use.' 

'"Know, that such talisman might indeed be framed,' 
said Hakim, ' but rare has been the number of adepts 
who have dared to undertake the application of their 
virtues. . . . When thou canst show why that draught of 
cold water should have cured thee, when the most pre- 
cious drugs failed, thou mayest reason on the other mys- 
teries attendant on this matter.' .... 

" The next day saw Richard's return to his own camp, 
and in a short time afterwards, the young Earl of Hunt- 
ingdon was espoused by Edith Plantagenet. The Soldan 
himself, who was the physician in disguise, sent as a nup- 
tial present on this occasion the celebrated Talisman ; 
but though many cures were wrought by means of it, in 
Europe, none equalled in success or celebrity those which 
the Soldan achieved. It is still in existence, as before 
stated, having been bequeathed by the Earl of Hunting- 
don to a brave knight of Scotland, Sir Simon of the Lee, 
in whose ancient and highly honored family it is still pre- 


served ; and although charmed stones have been dis- 
missed from the modern pharmacopoeia, its virtues are 
still applied to, for stopping blood, and in cases of canine 
madness." * 

*" The Talisman," by Sir Walter Scott, p. 287. 




At the present time the word improvement is as fa- 
miliar to physicians as it is to mechanics. A book for 
guide in medical practice that has been published over a 
dozen years, is looked upon as old, and needs to be read 
with amendments. Those written fifty or one hundred 
years ago are considered not only old, but obsolete, while 
those that are two or three hundred years old are, in 
this country, rare to be found. Probably not one man 
in a hundred has ever seen, and certainly does not own, 
a copy of any such medical work. At the same time, it 
is true that a few very select works, written in the more 
ancient times, are better known and valued as curiosities, 
if nothing more. The most of these contain many grains 
of choice wheat as well as bushels of chaff, showing a 
crude old practice, based on erroneous teachings and ig- 
norance intermingled with some scattered facts. 

Then we find that, the further along the course of time 
we examine the prominent authors on medicine, the more 
we are convinced that the lingering shadows of the dark 
ages still befogged medical teachings in a very marked 
degree, even in its best ranks, up to the seventeenth 
century ; that is, to within one or two hundred years of 
our own day. 

It was not until about 1600 A.D. that the old tradi- 
tional and dogmatic empiricism began to be openly ques- 


tioned, then doubted, and finally rejected, only by a few 
of the most learned in medicine and philosophy. Then 
how partially and slowly it went on ! Still humoral pa- 
thology held pre-eminent sway in all the learned medi- 
cal world everywhere for more than two hundred years. 
In the last fifty years there has been a rapidly increasing 
succession of improvements in all departments of the 
healing art ; whose libraries, covering the entire field, have 
been written and rewritten, again and again, during this 

Quite an authentic account of the healing art, such 
as it was, reaches back along the last third of the history 
of man, which is but a little over two thousand years. 
True, much mystical medical art was already developed 
in Egypt, Assyria, and Greece, even more than one 
thousand years before that. But when we speak of con- 
nected and reliable records of medicine and surgery, as 
they existed in early times, we find we are indebted first 
of all to the great Greek physician and surgeon, Hippo- 
crates. He lived about 400 B.C. and was the most sys- 
tematic and extensive writer in medicine up to that 
time. With him began the true history of medicine. 
Yet he, and those of his time, knew but little of the 
anatomy and physiology of the human body, and but 
little of the true outlines of diseases, or of the range and 
power of remedies, and probably nothing of the true 
character of the nervous system. 

Hippocrates prudently relied very much on what he 
called nature, and is known to us as the vital force, or vi. 
tality ; also termed the vis medicatrix natura. Hence he 
dwelt much on the method of fasting and eating, of diet, 
regimen, hygiene, external remedies, and open air for ex- 
ercise and sleep. Though he gave rules for medical 
study to this end, yet soon after he died medical ideas 


and practice relapsed again into a mixture of speculation, 
science and philosophy, astrology and alchemy, as of 
old, but in a less degree. He long endeavored to sep- 
arate the medical art from the priestly office, and from 
the oracles, and from the admixture of the prevailing 
philosophy of that time. He was born nearly a century 
after Pythagoras, and inherited medicine as a profession. 

Pythagoras, before assuming the business of teaching 
philosophy and medicine, had spent much time in trav- 
elling through many countries, and probably taught 
something of the Egyptian medical art in his courses 
of instruction at Carona, where medicine was first culti- 
vated as a department of philosophy in Europe. This 
school of Pythagoras at Carona in Magna Grascia, now 
the south part of Italy, preceded that of Hippocrates 
and that of Plato by more than a century. 

" Now, to the initiated, medicine is something more 
than a profession, it is a world within itself.* It has its 
history, its philosophy, its politics, its literature, of which 
the world at large knows nothing. It has its subsidiary 
arts and occupations. It has its organizations and insti- 
tutions, its ranks and grades of honor. It has its polem- 
ics and dissensions, not always amenable to logic or the 
learning of the academies. In ethics, traditions, and 
superstitions it is older than the church. In use before 
the civil law, it recognizes no arbitrary enactments. 
Nature is its only court of equity. And who of us shall 
forget its ever-living charities, its many sunny aspects, 
its benignant, ennobling, liberalizing influences, which 
few beyond our own circle can properly appreciate, and 
none so well understand. 

" No wonder, then, that the members of our profession, 
drawn together by these hallowed ties, should be disposed 

*" History of Medicine, "'by Winslow, p. 10. 



to band together as a brotherhood. Such has been their 
tendency. The Druids of early Gaul and Britain, the 
Asclepiadse of Greece, the priests of ancient Egypt, the 
Lamas of central Asia, the Vaidhyas of India, the frater- 
nities of the middle ages, and up to the present hour the 
countless societies and colleges of our own and other 
lands, and associations, national and international, devoted 
to the healing art, are in proof of this. So that where- 
ever social freedom has existed, or tyranny would per- 
mit, internal organization and development has been 
the rule of our profession. With these facts before us, 
our origin and growth as an element of civilization is a 
subject worthy of general attention." 

In the very early times, " there is reason to believe that 
among the Assyrians and other early Asiatics medicine 
was never pursued as a distinct occupation. The eastern 
Magi must have devoted some attention to it ; and the 
seers of Palestine may have had some pretensions to skill 
in curing diseases as a part of their divine calling. Job 
speaks of his counsellors as ' physicians of no value,' and 
Moses, of the preparation of the sacred oil after ' the 
apothecary's art.' King Asa, when his disease was ex- 
ceeding great, ' sought not the Lord, but his physicians ; ' 
and Jeremiah asks, ' Is there no balm in Gilead ? is there 
no physician there?' From these and other allusions in 
the Old Testament, it is evident that among the Isra- 
elites there were, perhaps after the manner of the Egyp- 
tians, certain men giving their attention to medicine. 
But the Babylonians, as we learn from Herodotus,* were 
destitute of physicians," as were also the kings of Persia, 
only as they obtained them from Greece or Egypt. 

yEsculapius himself, the ancestor of Hippocrates, is 
said to have had two sons, who distinguished themselves 

*Book I., par. 197. 


as physicians and surgeons at the siege of Troy, in 1184 
B.C. It is recorded that medical knowledge was in those 
days retained as a secret in his family, it being transmit- 
ted from father to son until the time of Hippocrates 
many ages after. The more immediate descendants of 
^sculapius formed a priesthood, a long and powerful 
line, known as the " Asclepiadae," who practised medi- 
cine from the Temples during many ages, and are fre- 
quently referred to by eminent medical authors for more 
than two thousand years after. 

. . . " A cave y-wrought by wonderous art, 
Deep, dark, uneasy, doleful, comfortless, 
In which sad ^Esculapius, far apart 
Imprisoned was in chains remediless, 
For that Hippolytus' rent corse he did redress. 

. . . His goodly corse, on ragged cliff ts y-rent, 
Was quite dismembered, and his members chaste, 
Scattered on every mountain as he went. 

By Dyan's means who was Hippolyte's friend, 
Them brought to yEsculapius that by his art 
Did heal them all again and joined every part. 
Such wondrous science in man's wits to reign 
When Jove advised, that could the dead revive 
And fate expired could renew again, 
Of endless life he might not him deprive , 
But unto hell did thrust him down alive, 
With flashing thunderbolt y-wounded sore : 
Where, long remaining, he did always strive 
Himself with salves, to health for to restore, 
And slake the heavenly fire that raged evermore. 

Beseeching him with prayers, and with praise, 

If either salve, or oils, or herbs, or charms, 

A foredone wight from door of death might raise, 

He would at her request, prolong her nephew's days. 


Go to, then, thou far renowned son 

Of great Apollo ! show thy famous might 

In medicine, that else hath to thee won 

Great pains, and greater praise, both never to be done." 

Spenser's " Faery Queen." 

Was he who was known as yEsculapius a Greek or an 
Egyptian ? It is believed he was a real character, who 
in after times was deified by the Greeks, and represented 
as the son of Apollo and Cornis. Greece was early colo- 
nized by the Egyptians ; then in after ages the Greeks 
were led to colonize Egypt, carrying their arts and sci- 
ences with them, which so embellished the great and fa- 
mous school of learning i,n Alexandria. 

Hippocrates left many books of his own writing on 
medicine and surgery, of which certainly five, and proba- 
bly sixteen, if not many more, are genuine. We intro- 
duce here this long gone by and well known fact, because 
from these books re-appear again and again certain lead- 
ing, and many other very misleading doctrines, sometimes 
modified this way or that, as appear in the best medical 
works made along the ages, and show prominently in 
books written by the learned in England and Europe, 
even long after the Pilgrim Fathers landed on Cape Cod 
in Massachusetts Bay. For this reason, too, are intro- 
duced in short the successive authors, schools, and sects 
of very different times, to show the bewildering state 
of medicine as a profession up to the eighteenth cent- 

Explorations recently made on the site of the Temple 
of jEsculapius at Epidaurus in Argolis, have brought to 
light five statues and many inscriptions, besides portions 
of a celebrated stile, mentioned by Pausanias as stand- 
ing near the Temple, and bearing the names of persons 


who had been cured, with an account of their maladies, 
the remedies applied, the sacrifices offered, etc. 

Let it be repeated, then, that what ideas Hippocrates 
had of the bones and organs of the human body were 
only general and comparative, and often quite erroneous. 

Hippocrates, "The Prince of Medicine," " The Father 
of Physic," " The Oracle of Cos," " The Divine Old Man," 
was born at Cos, one of the islands of the Grecian Archi- 
pelago, at the commencement of the eightieth Olympiad, 
four hundred and sixty years B.C. His father was a physi- 
cian, the seventeenth lineal descendant from ^Esculapius. 
His mother was Phenerata, the eighteenth in descent 
from Hercules. In his family there were no less than 
seven physicians named Hippocrates. The first was the 
contemporary of Miltiades. Hippocrates II., the Great, is 
the father of medicine referred to. Hippocrates III. was 
grandson of the Great, and wrote works on medicine. 
Hippocrates IV. was physician at the court of Macedo- 
nia, and is said to have cured Roxana, widow of Alexan- 
der the Great. 

Hippocrates lived in the best and most prosperous pe- 
riod of Greece. He was the contemporary of Socrates, 
Plato, and Herodotus, and he received his earliest knowl- 
edge of medicine from his father and from Herodicus. 
He also studied under Gorgias, the celebrated orator. 
Hippocrates wrote in the Ionic dialect, and he used many 
Attic expressions. There were great stores of medical 
records accumulated at the celebrated Temple of ^Escu- 
lapius in the island of Cos, to which he had access. Dur- 
ing his travels he also visited and sojourned at Ephesus, 
near the temple of Diana, where he transcribed and ar- 
ranged the Tables of Medicine therein preserved ; for it 
was the custom there to record every case, and the treat- 
ment, whatever was the result. 


Hippocrates, we observed, founded his views of medi- 
cine on facts, or what he supposed were facts, observed 
or found in records of medicine. At his standpoint he 
learned and accepted from the schools of philosophy the 
doctrine of the primitive elements, and that of the primi- 
tive humors, and sees in the human body the humors 
undergoing changes in accordance with the conditions of 
health or disease. He was led to believe that health is 
maintained by the equable proportion and admixture of 
the humors, and that disease is the result of their ine- 
qualities;* that during their changes, when they happen 
to be unusually great, the disordered humors undergo a 
process of coction, by which they may be restored to their 
healthy condition ; and as time is necessary to effect this 
process, he endeavors to show how the critical discharge 
is brought about, and to establish the very days within 
which it is to be expected. He lays much stress on the 
doctrine of coction, implying by this term the changes 
disordered humors undergo preparatory to their elimina- 
tion. So long as they float about in a state of crudity 
the disease continues in full intensity; but it ceases 
when they are properly elaborated, either by the sponta- 
neous effort of nature, or by the aid of medicine acting 
under natural laws. 

Though he was evidently not aware of the real nerves 
or the nervous system, yet he mentioned the term 
" nerve" as Greek authors of those times usually did, to 
signify a sinew, or tendon. He distinguished between 
arteries and veins, but he supposed the brain to be a 
gland which exuded "a viscid fluid;" that the heart 
was " the fountain of life," having two "ventricles," or 
cavities, separated by a partition ; and as also having 
two " auricles," as receptacles of air. He taught the 

* " Medical Heresies," by Prof. G. C. Smythe, p. 33. 


doctrine of solids, humors, and spirits ; also that of the 
three humors of the blood — phlegm, yellow bile, and 
black bile. He also divided diseases into the acute and 
chronic, epidemic and sporadic, malignant and benign. 
His theory of diseases was based on the four elements, — 
earth, fire, air, and water, — together with the three hu- 
mors of the blood. He believed that, as before stated, 
some kind of derangement of these elements and humors 
caused disease ; and that through the indwelling nature, 
that nature or vitality to which he attributed real in- 
telligence in distributing the blood, spirits, and warmth 
throughout the body and limbs, the body receives 
life and growth, sensation, motion, and nourishment dur- 
ing health, while in disease it produces " coction," or a 
ripening of the matters of disease, which are finally ex- 
pelled at the " crisis." 

The Oath of Hippocrates. 

" I swear by Apollo the physician, by ./Esculapius 
by his daughters Hygeia and Panacea, and by all the gods 
and goddesses, that to the best of my power and judg- 
ment I will faithfully observe this oath and obligation. 
The master that has instructed me in the art I will es- 
teem as my parent, and supply, as occasion may require, 
with the comforts or necessaries of life. His children I 
will regard as my own brothers ; and if they desire to 
learn, I will instruct them in the same art without any 
reward or obligation. The precepts, the explanations, or 
whatever else belongs to the art, I will communicate to 
my own children, to the children of my master, to such 
other pupils as have subscribed to the physician's oath, 
and to no other persons. My patients shall be treated 
by me to the best of my power and judgment, in the 


most salutary manner, without any injury or violence ; I 
will neither be prevailed upon by any other to administer 
pernicious physic, or to be the author of such advice 
myself. Cutting for the stone I will not meddle with, 
but leave it to the operators in that way. To whatsoever 
house I am sent for, I will always make the patient's 
good my principal aim, avoiding, as much as possible, 
all voluntary injury and corruption. And, whatever I 
hear or see in the course of a cure, or otherwise, relating 
to the affairs of life, nobody shall ever know it, if it 
ought to remain a secret. May I be prosperous in life 
and business, and forever honored and esteemed by all 
men as I observe this solemn oath; and may the reverse 
of all this be my portion if I violate it, and forswear my- 
self." — Hippocrates. 

Soon after appeared Polybius, the son-in-law of Hip- 
pocrates, who in his later years wrote two medical 
works, interspersed with anatomy and physiology. To 
show the crude ideas in regard to the structure of 
the human body they had up to that time, I quote him : 
" There are four pair of large or main blood-vessels in 
the human body. The first pair lead from the parietal 
portions of the head down the sides of the neck and 
body to the outer parts of the thighs and ankles ; the 
second pair, being the jugular veins, leading from the 
sides of the neck to the inner side of the thighs, and so 
on down to the inner side of the ankles and feet. The 
third pair lead from the temples of the head through 
the lungs, and there crossing each other, the one goes to 
the spleen and the left kidney, while the other goes to the 
liver and the right kidney. The fourtli pair of blood- 
vessels lead from the throat and neck over the upper ex- 
tremities, and over all the front part of the body." Such 
were evidently the anatomical views of the most advanced 



and eminent medical men in learned Greece to within 
three hundred and fifty years before the Christian era. 
It is a wonder their theory and practice was so often so 
nearly correct. 

Next appeared most prominently the great Aristotle, 
who was a Greek, born in 384 B.C. He was a pupil of 
the greater Plato, and was afterwards his great expounder. 
Plato had been the pupil of the still greater Socrates.* 
Aristotle had a vast collection of facts, upon which he 
based much sound doctrine, and very much more purely 
chimerical nonsense, out of which grew his famous phi- 
losophy, the most plausible, comprehensive, and absurd 
system ever devised by man, which largely influenced 
medicine, religion, and the world of letters generally for 
more than two thousand years afterwards. By his act- 
ual dissections of animals he was the real founder of 
comparative anatomy and zoology. 

By Aristotle was corrected some of the errors recorded 
by Polybius. Through him and such sages in medicine 
and philosophy as Dracho, Theophrastus, and Praxag- 
oras, was the general stock of knowledge in anatomy 
and physiology enriched. Aristotle divided the circle 
of knowledge into four parts, namely, physics, metaphys- 
ics, logic (which included what we now term biology — the 
science of the mind), and ethics. He and others mingled 
his philosophy with the somewhat purified medical art of 
Hippocrates, and so no doubt retarded medical improve- 
ment to more than a thousand years after. Out of it grew 
the dogmatic sect, which was soon divided into three fac- 
tions in the time of Galen, and they continued a long 

It was known to the ancients that worms sometimes 
came out of the nose of animals, and they were believed 

* Socrates, " Apology," " Cryto," and parts of the " Phaedo " of Plato. 



to cause the disease called "the staggers," or "turning- 
fits," in sheep. Early medical history states that they 
found these maggots, hatched from the eggs of a certain 
fly, lodged in the frontal bone of the head. " No doubt 
this is why the ancients believed that the larvs from the 
sheep's head were an effectual remedy in epilepsy. Of 
course they were prescribed on the principle that what 
produces a disease will cure that disease (according to 
one of those very ancient medical aphorisms). As early 
as B.C. 560 Alexander Trallianus tells us that at two dis- 
tinct utterances the Oracle of Delphi recommended these 
worms to be used by Democrates of Athens, who suffered 
with epilepsy. But as Democrates knew nothing of nat- 
ural history he asked a man one hundred years old, who 
told him to take the worms which fell from the nose of 
such sick sheep, and tie them up in a bag and hang them 
about his neck." 

Truly there is nothing new under the sun — " cure like 
with like" in the year B.C. 650 ! " The priestcraft, preach- 
ing through the Oracle of Delphi to the people, repeats 
itself in our day in the Oracle or Oganon of Hahnemann, 
the father of Homoeopathy. Strange that in our enlight- 
ened time, when science in all branches of learning has 
given us such practical and valuable information, that 
there still remains in some of our highly educated, and, 
in other respects, so practical citizens, that mystical belief 
(that has filtered through the dark ages), as stated in the 
garb of Homoeopathy." — F. Humbert, M.D. 

In B.C. 320, or about one hundred years after the time 
of good Hippocrates, was founded the great school of 
learning at Alexandria in Egypt, under the protection 
and patronage of the Ptolemies ; and there and then 
grew up the great " Empirical " school of medicine, the 
rival of the Dogmatics, with which they divided the med- 



ical world for centuries. This school of empirics rejected 
the doctrine of "occult causes" of disease, as had been 
taught by Hippocrates, and afterwards adopted by the 
Dogmatics, while they based their system entirely on 
observation and experience gained through the senses. 
They also rejected the very old axiom, that diseases 
must be cured by contraries ; that is, by remedies that 
produce in the human body opposite or different effects 
from that produced by the given disease. As one of the 
axioms in medicine, this no doubt is very ancient ; it be- 
ing the most simple and natural idea that would first oc- 
cur to the mind of man, as indicating the sort of remedy 
that should be selected for relieving and curing the given 
sickness. But it did not make any exclusive sect then, 
nor has it ever done so to the present time. 

In later ages we find three or four of these axioms, or 
medical aphorisms, in use as antitheses, employed mostly 
in didactics, when speculating on the mode of action of 
different kinds of remedies, namely, " antipathy," which 
means a natural aversion, or opposition ; " allopathy," 
which indicates a dissimilarity, reversion, or contrary; 
and " ho-mceopathy," which indicates alike, as this thing 
and that are alike. What is strange to relate, some one 
hundred years after these axioms had mostly disappeared 
from medical literature, and different sects and schools 
were dying out, Hahnemann separated himself from the 
regular medical profession, and proclaimed, as a universal 
and exclusive law, that " like cures like," and that all else 
is false and wrong ; then he adopted the creed, similia 
similibus curantcr, and called his sect Homoeopathy. 

About the year 50 B.C. was established the " Me- 
thodic " school of medicine by Asclepiades, who was 
born in Bithinia, and practised in Rome, being an inti- 
mate friend of Cicero, and a favorite of the nobles of 


that city. He taught that the human body was every- 
where filled with minute pores, and that invisible cor- 
puscles, floating in fluid, were constantly passing through 
these pores ; that the food was first simply emulsified, 
then passed directly into the blood, where it was further 
fined, so as to pass easily through these filtering passages 
and so act as nutriment. He also taught that hunger 
was caused by the relaxation of the larger pores, thirst 
by the relaxation of the smaller pores ; that sicknesses 
were caused by spasm of the pores, or else the corpus- 
cles, not being well concocted, remained too large to 
pass through the ordinary pores, or the pores themselves 
had become relaxed. Hence the aphorism of this school, 
in short, was Relaxnm ct Strictum, as afterwards the ho- 
moeopathic school had " similia similibus curanter." This 
was about the whole of it ; and consequently the reme- 
dies were friction, wine, exercise, bathing, with shampoo- 
ing and injections. 

Men, yes, eminent men, in those days believed in this ; 
such as Themison of Laodicea, Stephenson of Bizantium, 
Celeus and Marcus Artorius of Rome, and Rufus of Ephe- 
sus, while the emperor, Augustus Caesar himself, was his 
patron. In time Atheneus added to this new creed the 
other idea of spirits, or air passing through the arteries, 
which, when impeded, or otherwise disturbed in the 
body, caused disease ; which doctrine then gave rise to 
the "Pneumatic" school of medicine, prominent in 
which was the distinguished physician Arteus. This 
sect after a time broke into several factions, each having 
but a partial following out of the medical profession as 
a whole. 

Soon after the Christian era, the more prominent phy- 
sicians of all sects and factions came together in an 
agreement that no one faction contained all the truth, 



therefore they would unite in forming the famous " Eclec- 
tic school " of medicine, which was expected then to 
embrace the medical world, for they claimed to select all 
that was good and useful, and reject all else. But it was 
too early for such a move. Still the various sects re- 
mained here and there numerous and divided for a very 
long time, until Galen's day, which was an epoch in med- 
ical improvement, unity, and history. 

Erasistratus, professor in the great college of Alexan- 
dria, held medicine to be a conjectural science. He did 
not entirely reject the pharmaceutical branch of medi- 
cine, but he opposed venesection, purgation, and most 
other active medicines ; he treated disease almost exclu- 
sively by diet, regimen, and hygiene. On the other hand, 
Herophilus, his brother professor at Alexandria, and his 
followers, extolled medicines, and resorted to them in all 
diseases. Some of these wrote extensively on the "ma- 
teria medica." Among the earliest were Zeno, Andreas, 
and Appolonias. It was Pamphilius who wrote on herbs, 
giving a description of their medical use. Compiling from 
Hermes, the great medical authority of the early Egyp- 
tians, he dwells upon the use of charms, amulets, and 
incantations, " for increasing the power or potency of 
herbs." Nicander, who lived in those days at Pergamus, 
wrote a treatise on the bites and stings of venomous ani- 
mals and poisons. 

Attalus Philometor was not only the patron of the 
medical profession, but was himself actively occupied in 
the cultivation and administration of medicinal plants. 
We are told by Plutarch, that in his gardens he planted 
the cicuta, aconite, hellebore, hyoscyamus, and other 
active herbs.* " He was particular to collect them at 
certain seasons, with his own hands, for the purpose of 

* Le Clerc, part ii., liv. iii., chap, iii., p. 388. 


testing and experimenting with their expressed juice, 
their fruits, and their seeds and roots, and determining 
their respective properties." The king of Pontus, Mith- 
ridates, also experimented with poisonous plants, upon 
himself, and finally composed the celebrated " mitliridat- 
ician," employed as an antidote, which was among the 
most famous nostrums of antiquity. Pompey, after over- 
coming this prince, ordered diligent search to be made 
among the archives of his palace for the formula of this 
famous antidote, and thought he found it. 

" In speaking of the medical profession in his own time 
Galen classes them largely as Herophilians and Erasis- 
tratians, showing that the opinions of the founders of the 
Alexandrian school in Egypt had not yet been super- 
seded, and that after an interval of more than four cent- 
uries, the impression left upon it by these great men 
still continued to give it character and distinction.* After 
falling under the sway of the Romans for a century or 
more the school of Alexandria lost much of its previous 
celebrity, and is little spoken of during the more active 
period of the medical school of Rome. Yet, even in 
Galen's day, it was the centre of medical science. For 
to have studied medicine at Alexandria was everywhere 
considered a passport to the confidence and patronage of 
the public in any country." 

Erasistratus, who was a native of the Isle of Chios, 
and the grandson of Aristotle, flourished about two hun- 
dred and fifty years before the Christian era. He was 
one of the most prominent of the scientific men brought 
together at the Museum in Alexandria by Ptolemy 
Soter, its founder, who was by repute the natural son of 
Philip of Macedon, and therefore brother of Alexander 
the Great. The Museum had already risen to the high- 

* Watson's " Medical Profession," p. 94. 



est ranks among the Greek schools. The library at that 
time held two hundred thousand rolls of papyrus, equal 
to about ten thousand of our modern printed volumes. 
The system of instruction, as first arranged, was divided 
among the four faculties of literature, astronomy, math- 
ematics, and medicine. At the head of the latter were 
Erasistratus, Cleombrotus of Cos, and Herophilus the 
anatomist. Cleombrotus was in high repute as a prac- 
titioner ; was sent to the relief of Antiochus when dan- 
gerously ill, and after curing the king he received on his 
return a hundred talents, about fifteen thousand pounds 
sterling, as a reward, from Ptolemy Philadelphus. 

Erasistratus, who paid no regard to the Hippocratic 
doctrine of humors or elements, made discoveries in 
anatomy and physiology, and wrote extensively. He 
was familiar with some of the general distributions of 
the blood-vessels. He described the anatomical struct- 
ure of the heart, and, like Aristotle, made this organ the 
source both of the veins and arteries. He held also that 
the arteries in health are filled with pneuma, or air, re- 
ceived by the process of respiration, and that the passage 
of blood into them from the veins is the usual cause of 
disease. Rufus of Ephesus says Erasistratus was some- 
what familiar with the functions of the nerves, for he di- 
vided them into nerves of sensation and nerves of mo- 
tion. The animal spirits he seated in the brain, the vi- 
tal spirits in the heart. 

Claudius Galen was a Roman, born in Pergamus, in 
the year 131 A.D., a famous centre of learning at that 
time, next in importance to Alexandria across the 
Mediterranean Sea. He studied Aristotle and Plato 
under his father and Guius, the latter being a Stoic 
and an Epicurean. He pursued medicine in Alexan- 
dria, Smyrna, and elsewhere. He then tried to reform 



medical theory and practice, and wrote extensively. 
He appears to have been at first an Eclectic, then 
became a Dogmatic, then revived and remodelled the 
teachings of Hippocrates and added to them. He also 
excelled as an anatomist, and is the first we have account 
of who specially treated nervous diseases. 

Galen was decidedly opposed to the Epicureans. 
" After a burst of indignation against all who would 
place their supreme good in the gratification of their 
own will, he exclaimed : ' Why should I waste words on 
such men ? Others of nobler views might well censure 
me for thus perverting the sacred attribute of speech, 
which ought to be reserved for composing hymns in ad- 
oration of the Author of our being.' I hold true piety 
to consist not in sacrificing to Him hecatombs of bulls, 
or in burning incense of cassia, or offering fragrant oint- 
ments to His honor, but rather learning for myself, 
and in teaching to others something of His wisdom, 
goodness, and power. All are supplied by His goodness, 
and all are supported by His bounty. On this account 
it becomes us to celebrate His goodness with hymns 
of praise, and observe the evidences we have of His 
almighty power."* 

" The most of those works upon which Galen's fame 
reposes were written after his recall to Rome. Some 
portion of his anatomical and other writings were con- 
sumed in the conflagration of the Temple of Peace and 
the destruction of his own dwelling near by it. Yet we 
have now in print eighty-two treatises undisputed, and 
eighteen commentaries on Hippocrates, to which should 
be added nearly forty treatises or fragments of treatises 
still extant in manuscript. His works now wholly lost 

* " De Usu Partium," lib. iii., c. x., vol. iii., p. 237 ; P. Watson's " Medi- 
cal Profession," p. 161. 


are supposed to amount to one hundred and sixty, 
about fifty of which were on medical subjects, too nu- 
merous to mention here." 

In the first of the works cited above, we are told of 
the few occasions enjoyed by the ancients for acquiring 
anything like correct anatomical knowledge. The first 
five book so fhis treatise on anatomy are occupied in 
describing the muscles, many of which are mentioned for 
the first time. He also speaks of the blood-vessels. In 
the sixth book are described the organs of digestion. In 
the seventh, the heart ; in the eighth, the respiratory or- 
gans ; in the ninth, the brain and spinal marrow; and 
in six remaining books, which have perished, he treated 
of the eye, the tongue, the pharynx, the larynx, the os 
hyoides, the history of the arteries and veins, the cere- 
bral and spinal nerves, and the organs of generation. 
Many facts found in this work have been claimed to be 
the discoveries of later times. 

"Soon after his return to Rome he wrote De Usu Par- 
tium, also replete with physiological opinions and on 
final causes, the author's main object being to disprove 
the doctrines of Epicurus, and demonstrate the exist- 
ence of a superintending Providence, from the wonderful 
adaptation of means to ends in the organization of the 
human frame. In this treatise is found .that eloquent 
exposition of the powers and uses of the human hand. 
And here, too, are found those hymns to the Deity and 
other pious expressions so worthy of the philosopher, 
moralist, and physician. This work is in seventeen books 
and has been preserved entire. 

" The treatise De Locis Affectis, in six books, was the 
work of his maturer years. In this, with wonderful sa- 
gacity, he points out every part of the body subject to 
pains, convulsions, paralysis, or other symptoms, and 


to which our attention should be directed for investigat- 
ing into the causes of disease. This valuable treatise, 
which is occupied mainly with pathology and symptoma- 
tology, the learned Dr. Haller held in higher estimation 
than any other of Galen's works. Already, however, 
Aretseus, in the first century, had written on nervous af- 
fections, and left two books upon ' The Lethargies.' 

" The treatise Ars Medica was for many centuries the 
text-book upon which the students of Salernum and 
other medical schools of the middle ages were examined 
before receiving permission to practice. Commencing 
with the definition of medicine, it treats of the signs 
of health, of the temperaments generally, and of their 
influences on special organs in health and in disease. It 
next treats of the signs of disease, general and local, of 
prognostic indications, of causes of disease, of the means 
of preventing disease and preserving health, and of re- 
storing it when disordered, thus furnishing in small com- 
pass an exposition of the whole of Galen's system of 

" The Methodus Medendi, in fourteen books, was the 
work of his old age, and was held by his followers in nearly 
the same estimation as the 'Ars Medica.' The two 
books, on the same subject, addressed to Glauco, treat 
mostly of generalities. More information, it has been 
said, may be obtained from this work than from the 
whole medical literature of the Arabians. 

" His original investigations were chiefly in the depart- 
ment of anatomy. In this he made many discoveries, 
mostly in the muscular system. He was the first to de- 
scribe the popliteal muscle, the platysma myoides, the 
sterno and thyro hyoideus, and probably many others. 
In the blood circulation he was not much in advance of 
the early Alexandrians. Like them, he placed the origin 



of the veins in the liver, of the arteries in the heart. He 
was familiar with the anastomoses of the two orders of 
vessels, the arteries and veins, but he traces the current 
of blood from the liver, the supposed fountain of the 
venous portion, into the right ventricle of the heart, and 
then through the pulmonary vessels to the left ventricle. 
He was acquainted with the uses of the opening between 
the right and left auricle, but in other respects his ideas 
of the course and distribution of the blood were confused 
and incorrect. He appears to have made several discov- 
eries in the nervous system : he points out the tubercula 
quadrigemina, the corpus callosum, and septum lucidum ; 
he derives the nerves of sensation from the brain, those 
of motion from the spinal marrow, and to some nerves 
he assigns both sentient and motive power ; he denies 
the decussation of the optic nerves, but admits their 
junction at the commissure ; he describes the par vagum 
and its connections with the sympathetic nerve. Cer- 
tain organs, as the heart and blood-vessels, he supposed 
to be destitute of nerves, and hence devoid of sensibility. 
He took much pains to determine the structure and de- 
velopment of the human fcetus. He allowed no occasion 
to escape for impressing upon his students the impor- 
tance of anatomical knowledge. 

" In respect to physiology, he speaks of the living 
body as a unit, though constituted of parts or organs, 
simple and compound, of humors, and of spirits. With 
the old opinion, he maintained that all the parts, by 
which he means the material structures, whether simple 
or compound, are constituted of the four primitive ele- 
ments, fire, air, earth, and water ; from which are derived 
the four corresponding qualities, the hot, the cold, the 
dry, and the humid. He also enumerates four humors: 
the blood, which is red, hot, and moist ; the phlegm, 


which is white, cold, and humid ; the bile, which is yel- 
low, hot, and dry ; and the melancholia or atrabile, which 
is black, cold, and dry. These two latter he holds to be 
partly excrementitious. From the combination of these 
elements and their respective qualities results the com- 
plexion, or chrasis, of each part or texture of the body. 
The preponderance of one or the other of the four hu- 
mors gives the corresponding temperament. 

"As did the Peripatetics, he attributed the essential 
phenomena of life to certain occult forces, inherent in the 
several parts or organs. These forces he divjded into 
the vital, the animal, and the natural. The seat of 
the first is in the heart ; of the second, in the brain ; and 
of the third, in the liver. But above all these forces he 
admits, with Hippocrates, the presiding and ruling influ- 
ence of Nature, — a word by which the ancients meant vi- 
tality, vital force, organic force, or principle of life. The 
spirits, under the name of pneuma, he also divided into 
the vital, the animal, and the natural, corresponding 
with the respective forces by which the functions of the 
body are performed. The natural, or least attenuated 
of the spirits, are evolved from the blood in the liver, 
the organ in which the blood itself is first elaborated. 
The spirits thus conducted with the blood to the lungs, 
and there exhaling certain impurities, and combining 
with the respired air, the natural are converted into the 
vital spirits; and then passing to the brain, the vital be- 
comes still further attenuated and converted into the 
animal spirits. 

" The functions, he said, are also of three orders, the 
vital, the animal, and the natural. To the first of these 
belong the action of the heart and arteries, also the 
passion of anger and revenge ; to the second belong the 
intellectual powers, intelligence and sensibility ; to the 



third belong the functions of nutrition, muscular action, 
and generation ; and these functions he further divided 
into the external and internal. By the intervention of 
the pneuma the vital force produces the pulsation of 
the heart and arteries. He says the blood is cooled, the 
pneuma is relieved of its fuliginous particles, and the 
blood is endowed with the vital force by the process of 
respiration ; and that this process is affected by means of 
the diaphragm and intercostal muscles. 

" Galen held that the brain is the seat of the rational 
mind ; the heart is the seat of courage, and the angry 
passions ; the liver is the seat of desire. By the internal 
pulsation of the brain, the pneuma of the ventricles of 
the brain is engendered, and in these ventricles the func- 
tions of the mind are executed. The passage of the vi- 
tal spirits from all parts toward the brain, where they 
acquire new qualities, explains in what way the mind is 
influenced by the body. But it is not clear whether he 
looked upon the mind as an entity, or as a mere result of 
organic action. From the brain, by the energy of the 
nerves, sensibility and motive power are diffused through- 
out the body : but special forces, subordinate to the 
mind, preside over the function of special sense. That 
the brain in the performance of its functions exudes a 
pituitous humor, which is discharged through the fora- 
mina in the cribriform plate of the ethmoid bone, and 
escapes through the throat and nostrils. And that every 
organ has its own peculiar force of attraction, retention, 
and expulsion, and some of them similar to the forces 
more recently termed endosmosis and exosmosis. Thus 
by its own peculiar power the stomach attracts the ali- 
ment, retains it, concocts it, or expels it. From this, it 
is seen that his physiological opinions were partly hypo- 


Galen held that " health is maintained by supplying 
similar with similar, whilst disease is overcome by oppos- 
ing contraries to contraries." These two propositions 
furnish the key to his whole system of hygiene and thera- 
peutics. Galen wrote no work expressly on the practice 
of medicine, but he has left a complete code of medical 
science, the only complete code of which we read among 
the ancients. In prognosis he was remarkably skilful. 
He treated of indications and contra-indications, and 
demonstrated the superiority of the practice of the ra- 
tionalists over the school of the empirics. The art of 
medicine in Galen's time consisted mostly in devising, or 
applying, particular remedies to particular diseases, each 
having its own specific. 

" Galen held himself as superior to Hippocrates, for 
he assumed that the latter had only commenced what 
he had carried to completion. Though he did endorse 
Hippocrates in many things, yet they were quite unlike 
in others. Hippocrates wrote with the terseness of a 
philosopher; while Galen wrote with flowing rhetoric, 
and adorning his discourses with criticism, anecdote, sar- 
casm, and boasting. Hippocrates seemed to draw his 
inspiration from the workings of nature." While Galen 
lies buried in the accumulations of his own superabun- 
dant labor, Hippocrates, as says Dr. John Watson, 
" lives to be studied with as much edificatioa by the 
physicians of the present day, as by his own immediate 
disciples," in his own time. 

When Galen died, about the year 200 A.D., all that was 
aggressive in medical science at Rome then ceased. And 
as it decayed there it again revived at Alexandria, where it 
continued until that city was destroyed by the Saracens. 
After the removal of the imperial court of Rome to Con- 
stantinople the scholars that still lingered about the pal- 



ace of the Csesars were attracted to the new capitol, so 
that but a few authors of importance appeared after this 
at Rome. One of the first after this was Quintus Serenus 
Sammonicus; but though a writer, he was mostly famous 
for his trait of superstition. He held a great veneration 
for the numbers three, seven, and nine. He recom- 
mended the use of amulets, one of which he calls the 
Abracadaba. This amulet consisted in writing this word 
on cloth or parchment, in full, on the upper line, and 
then on every succeeding line omitting a single letter 
until the initial letter was at length the only one remain- 
ing to be written on the last line, this making, by 
means of these letters so written, a triangular figure, 
which was to be suspended by a string or chain, and 
worn around the neck as a preventive against fevers. 

Then appeared Theodore Priscian, the pupil of Vindi- 
cian, physician to Valentinian ; also Marcellus Empiricus, 
but nearer the close of the fourth century, some time 
after the struggle for the supremacy of Christianity in 
the Roman empire had been crowned with complete suc- 
cess. He was a Gaul, a native of Bordeaux, and was 
probably a Christian. He speaks of his contemporaries 
Siburius, Eutropius, and Ausonius ; also of Greek and 
Latin physicians, as Pliny, Cornelius, Celsus, Appolinaris, 
and of Renatus, the author of veterinary medicine, in 
four books. 

Among the Greeks after the death of Galen there were 
Caesarius, Oribasus, and Nemesius, which was between 
A.D. 350 and the death of the elder Theodosius A.D. 395, 
about the period of the division of the Roman empire. 
" Caesarius was the younger brother of St. Gregory Nazi- 
anzen, archbishop of Constantinople, and was the earliest 
Christian physician of distinction at the imperial court.* 

* See Watson's " Medical Profession," p. 179. 


On the completion of their elementary studies, the two 
brothers, Gregory and Caesarius, departed on the same 
day from their father's house, the one to complete his 
philosophical course at Athens, still the principal seat of 
Grecian arts, and the other to pursue his medical studies 
at Alexandria. After five years' study he commenced prac- 
tice, and rose to high distinction in his native place, Na- 
zianzus, a town of Cappadocia. He then removed to By- 
zantium, and under the patronage of Constans, Caesarius 
soon rose to the senatorial rank, and was appointed ar- 
chiater, that is, physician to the emperor. Julian, who 
had formerly been a fellow-student at Athens, and who 
succeeded to the throne A.D. 363, urged him to return to 
the ancient religion of the state ; and though he persist- 
ently refused, he was retained at the imperial court. 
He was a writer in both medicine and theology." 

There prevailed at that time in most of the young 
students at Athens a complete sophistic furor. They 
all canvassed for their master; for it was not the custom 
to attend different lectures at the same time, but each 
one, as a rule, attached himself to one teacher. The 
poor students especially lent themselves to this business 
of recruiting, since they got exemption from class pay- 
ment. An honest youth could scarcely set his foot on 
Attic ground without being already claimed by the ad- 
herents of a party. They wrangled, they struggled, they 
threw themselves around him ; and he might be torn 
quite away from the teacher he came to attend. 

Oribasius was a native of Pergamus, or Sardis, and 
received his education under Zeno of Cyprus, the most 
famous medical professor of the fourth century, who 
taught first at Sardis and afterwards at Alexandria. 
" If Caesarius was the earliest of the Christian, so was 
Oribasius among the latest of the pagan medical writers. 


He ranked with the philosophers of the times, and his 
influence was such that Julian was largely indebted to 
him for his accession to the throne." He was one of 
the four friends who were permitted to accompany the 
emperor into Gaul. At his request he undertook a 
journey to Delphos, and received from that oracle the 
memorable response, that " hereafter the oracles are 
mute." He accompanied Julian into Persia, where he 
attended the wounded emperor in his dying hours after 
the defeat of the imperial forces. Familiar with the lit- 
erature of the medical profession from the earliest ages, 
he undertook, at the request of Julian, the compilation 
of all that was valuable in previous works on medicine. 

Constantine ruled from A.D. 306 till 337, under whom 
Christianity first became the national religion of the whole 
Roman empire. The edict of this emperor for the closure 
of the Asclepions, as well as other remaining temples of 
pagan worship, led at once to the establishment of hos- 
pitals and other charitable institutions under the care of 
the, church.* Before this time the religious and moral in- 
struction of the flocks was but a part of the duties of the 
clergy, for they had charge of the care of the orphans, 
the widows, the poor, the friendless, the needy and suf- 
fering: for while Christianity was obtaining the ascend- 
ancy, the clergy were gradually acquiring the control of 
all that related to the physical and social welfare of the 
people. This custom originated probably with the local 
organization of the churches in the time of the apostles. 

Helena, the mother of the emperor, devoted all her 
pious energies to the founding of churches and other be- 
nevolent institutions at Constantinople, at Jerusalem, 
and in other places. f In every part of the empire this 

* Eusebius, book x., chap. vi. 

t Evagrius. " Eccles. History," book iv. 


noble example was followed by other ladies of wealth 
and influence, especially until in the succeeding reign of 
Gallus Caesar, the elder brother of Julian. The groves of 
Daphne, in the neighborhood of Antioch, once sacred to 
Apollo, were in A.D. 357 dedicated to the church. The 
grounds, within which formerly stood the magnificent 
temple of Apollo Daphnaeus, were occupied by a hospital 
for the sick.* After this, the emperor Valens presented 
the most beautiful lands near Caesarea to Archbishop 
Basil, for the poor who were also sick. As early as in 373 
Basil had already organized an immense hospital at 
Caesarea, called the Basilides, which was often mentioned 
as among the then wonders of the world, so numerous 
were the sick poor, and so admirable was the care of 
them. The most illustrious ladies of the empire partici- 
pated in these offices of mercy. At Constantinople the 
Empress Flacilla, wife of the elder Theodosius, in 380, 
was active in watching and nursing the wounded and the 
mutilated: she made ready their food, and often carried 
their dishes to them, and visited others at their own 
homes, waiting upon them herself, and supplying their 

In the different orders of the clergy under the empire 
there were the Brephotrophi, who had the care of found- 
lings. The Ptochotrophi had the charge of the poor, 
and the Nosocomi had the care of the sick. Then there 
were the Perabolani, who, to the number of six hundred, 
served under the bishop at Alexandria, whose duty it 
was to care for the sick in time of pestilence, and these 
latter were uneducated laymen. The first three orders 
mentioned above were obliged to study medicine to a 
certain short degree. 

Aetius, of Amida in Mesopotamia, a learned physician 

* Theodoret, " History of the Church," book i., chapter xviii. 


and of the Christian faith, is supposed to have lived 
about the middle of the sixth century. He practised in 
Constantinople and was a famous surgeon, yet he had 
much to do with amulets and incantations ; also using 
Scriptural expressions in the preparation of his medica- 
ments, for the purpose of imparting to them greater 

Alexander, surnamed Trallianses, from his native city, 
Tralles in Lydia, appeared shortly after Aetius. He was 
of a talented family, and it was one of his brothers, Au- 
thenias, who was employed by Justinian as an architect 
in building the cathedral of St. Sophia in 532, which still 
stands prominent among the ornaments of Constantino- 
ple. Alexander settled and practised in Rome. His 
work on the Art of Medicine is received next in impor- 
tance after Hippocrates and Galen. 

Gibbon says the reign of Justinian was one of much 
vigor from 527 to 565, and marked with successes against 
the overwhelming inroads of barbarism. Italy was for a 
season delivered from the Goths, and the two portions of 
the Roman empire again united. The whole body of 
Roman law was at this time revised and reduced to sys- 
tem. The virgin schools of Constantinople were excel- 
lent and rising into notice. From the reign of Justinian 
to the downfall of Alexandria from the overrunning of 
the Mahometans but little was done in medical litera- 
ture excepting by Ahrun of Alexandria, who was the 
first to write on small-pox. Paulus yEgineta was edu- 
cated at Alexandria, and perhaps taught in that school 
about 640 A.D., to the period of its final subjugation by 
the Saracens. The only other writer among the Greeks 
a-fter the time of Paulus was Actuarius, who is worthy 
of rank among the ancient classics of the profession. 

Some nervous affections must have been observed from 


earliest times. Herodotus* mentions nervous disorders 
as the affliction of the Scythians 550 years before the 
Christian era. He says, "The Scythians, having obtained 
the entire possession of Asia, advanced towards Egypt. 
The king of Egypt met them in Palestine of Syria, and 
by presents and importunity prevailed on them to re- 
turn. The Scythians, on their march homeward, came to 
Ascalon, a Syrian city; the greater part of the army 
passed through without molesting it, but some of them, 
remaining behind, plundered the temple of the celestial 
Venus. Of all the sacred buildings erected to this god- 
dess, this, according to my authorities, was far the most 
ancient. The Cyprians themselves acknowledge that 
their temple was built after the model of this, and that 
of Cythera was constructed by certain Phoenicians, who 
came from this part of Syria. On the Scythians who 
plundered this temple, and indeed on all their posterity, 
the deity entailed a fatal punishment : they were af- 
flicted with the female disease" (hysteria, or nervous dis- 
orders). " The Scythians themselves confess that their 
countrymen suffer this malady in consequence of the 
above crime. Their condition also may still be seen by 
those who visit Scythia, where they are called Enarece, 
or effeminate." 

* Herodotus, book i., clio cv. 




About the year 700 a.d. the art and science of medi- 
cine was greatly affected by the inroads of Mahomet- 
anism into Europe. The story is here made very short. 
The Arabian Prophet, Mahomet, was born at Mecca in 
Arabia in 570. At forty years of age he began to pro- 
claim his doctrine. His motto was, " There is no God 
but God, and Mahomet is his Prophet." 

" The people and the elders of that city growing weary 
of him resolved to put him to death. He fled from Mecca 
by night through the palm groves to Yatreb, in 622. 
This is the epoch of the Hegira, from which the Arabs 
compute time. In 630 Mahomet returned to Mecca 
already accepted as Prophet and Prince. He is said 
to have purified the Kaaba Temple and destroyed three 
hundred and sixty idols. He then decreed that no infi- 
del — no disbeliever in him — should enter the holy city. 
When Mecca had become obedient, and all Arabia paid 
him reverence, he next commanded that Islamism be 
carried into every country, and that all nations be made 
to unite in it, by faith or by force of arms."* His fol- 
lowers, inspired with this fearful propagandism, soon over- 
ran, by means of the sword, all northern Africa and south- 
ern Europe. But the Mahometans did not continue 
united, and this caused the founding of two great uni- 

* R. Laberton, p. 104. 



versifies- of learning, where medicine was long taught; 
the one in Bagdad, the other in Cordova in Spain, the 
two capitals of the two caliphs, the eastern and the 

The Fatimates are the descendants of Fatima, the 
daughter of Mahomet, and her cousin and husband 
Ali, who in 656 was proclaimed the fourth caliph. The 
three before him were Abubekar, Omar, and Othman. 
Ali was slain in 680, and left two sons by Fatima. Part 
of the sect followed the one, and the other part followed 
the other. The line of one entirely run out ; but Hosein, 
the last of them, is believed by a portion of the faithful 
to be still alive in concealment, and will appear as sov- 
ereign in the end of time. Such are the Persians. The 
other sect, called the Turks, or Sunnites, fill the Otto- 
man empire, and are execrated by the former as enemies 
of the great Ali. The will of the High Pontiff of Is- 
lam finally became superior in power from the Indies 
on the east to the Atlantic Ocean on the west. 

During the eighth century was the greatest extent of 
the caliphate. The house of Ommiah, under whom the 
conquests throughout Arabia, Egypt, Africa, and Europe 
had been made, were finally hunted down by the other 
party, so that but a single youth of this doomed race 
or branch of Mahomet's family escaped from destruc- 
tion. He finally found his way to Spain, where parti- 
sans rallied to him, and made him sovereign of the 
country. From him came the eminent Abderrahman 
line of emirs, caliphs of Cordova. While in the east, after 
Abul Abbas had been established as caliph on the throne 
at Damascus, the original capital of the caliph was 
transferred to Bagdad, on the river Tigris, where the 
Abassides ruled over Mahometan Asia for more than 
five centuries, until extinguished by the siege of the 


Mongols, who finally stormed Bagdad, the only city in 
the east at that time left in the possession of the caliphs, 
and for several days the streets of the city were deluged 
in blood. Here, the fifty-sixth and last caliph, was killed 
in 1258. From the early year of 750 we see that Ma- 
hometan history lost its unity, for the empire was per- 
manently divided, and remains so till this day. 

At Cordova, while the caliphate was there, arose the 
most learned and extensive university in all Europe in 
that age. While in Bagdad, in the far east, was another 
great school of philosophy and learning, where seven 
thousand medical students, besides others, attended at a 
time. This appears to have not arisen so much from the 
love of medical lore by the Arabs, as it was rather to es- 
tablish their priesthood, and to embellish Mahomet- 
anism, and fortify it against the advance of Christianity. 
Colleges were also established at Seville and Toledo in 
Spain. These extended to the thirteenth century. 
Then there flourished a university at Bologne ; also 
others at Padua, and Naples, and Salerno in Italy, where 
arose the anatomist Mondino, who studied the nervous 
system in particular; and about 1500 A.D. appeared Al- 
exander Achillini of Bologne, who studied the brain. 

The next largest medical school, in that age, of the 
world was at Bagdad, built in 765 by the Caliph Al- 
mansur, on the Tigris, east of Jerusalem. There 
were numerous professors, and about an average of 
seven thousand students resorted to them yearly from 
all parts of the surrounding nations, east and west, 
north and south. As those people in the east change 
but little, this great school was probably much like 
the present great, but little known, university of the 
Mahometans at Azar, in Egypt. Here, at the present 
time, is said to be the centre and chief source of Ma- 



hometan learning, including the medical, for all Mos- 
lem nations, and has been for the past thousand years. 
Only the Koran, and its prescribed literature, is taught 
at this great Moslem university. There each of the 
three hundred and fourteen professors selects his own 
specialty, and each student his teachers. Among these 
departments are taught the history, theology, and juris- 
prudence of the Koran. 

The University building at Azar, an immense quad- 
rangle, with a spacious court in its centre, has around its 
front and sides a continuous portico, which is supported 
by four hundred large marble pillars, gathered mostly 
from very ancient heathen temples. At present there are 
nearly seven thousand students in attendance, represent- 
ing all lands possessing the Mahometan faith, and they 
learn only what their ancestors knew and their pro- 
foundly Mahometan professors choose to teach. 

The healing art thus became lifeless and comparatively 
useless during all the dreadful epidemics and numberless 
sicknesses and sufferings that occurred through the long 
dark ages ! The Latin Church itself became lifeless to 
the millions in Europe, though, according to history, it 
continued throughout all the ten persecutions to still 
exist in purity ; but when it came forth from the Cata- 
combs to take possession of the Basilicas a change for 
the worst was soon observed.* It struggled for three 
hundred years against paganism in the Roman empire, 
then it struggled for three hundred years against 
Arianism ; and after all this it had to conquer heathen 
Germany and the old Scandinavian and Hungarian 
oppressors, besides braving the opposing tidal-wave 
of Mahometanism that ultimately overran all south- 
ern Europe. At last it had to conquer the licentious- 

* Laberton. 



ness and other lawlessness which prosperity had in- 
dulged in her own ranks. So that the tenth century- 
marks the darkest period in the history of the Christian 
Church ; and this was equally true of the medical pro- 

Near the close of this time, about 990 A.D., the Rom- 
ish Church under the popes had not only lost all com- 
manding authority, but could not even maintain outward 
decency; for during this time arose into power the infa- 
mous Theodora, with her daughters, who, in the strong 
language of contemporary historians, disposed for many 
years of the papal tiara ; and not content with disgracing 
by their own licentious lives the chief city of Christen- 
dom, they actually placed their profligate paramours or 
base-born sons in the chair of St. Peter's ! Astonishing 
as it may now appear, these twin sisters, Medicine and 
true Christianity, adapted as they were to the constant 
highest good of mankind here and hereafter, became 
blighted, and even perverted, and thus nearly submerged 
they drifted on aimlessly through the ages. 

When alluding to the Royal Family of Portugal, the 
writer Joaquin Antonio De Macedo stated that "after 
the conquest of the peninsula of Spain and Portugal by 
the Arabs, at the beginning of the eighth century (in 
711), the Christians were reduced to the abject condition 
of slaves ; their former distinctions ceased, and they were 
all made equals in misfortune, and were driven to take 
refuge in the mountains of Asturias. After several cent- 
uries of sufferings the Christians succeeded in shaking off 
the hated Mussulman yoke, and established the monarchy 
of Asturias. The first distinctions which appeared after 
that were the escudeiros, applied to those who fought 
with sword and shield (escudo), cavalleiros, those who 
possessed a horse (cavallo), and ricos-homens (literally, rich 



men), who had acquired fortunes at the expense of the 
enemy. Subsequently, when the kingdom of Asturias 
merged into the more extensive monarchy of Leon, titles 
of nobility were for the first time introduced at court, 
and they consisted of ricos-lwmens, infancoes, and vassal- 
los. Affonso Henriques, when he founded the Portu- 
guese monarchy, followed the example of Spain, and in- 
troduced the same titles." The University of Lisbon 
was not founded until 1289. The medical department 
was, and is, connected with a great hospital of about 900 
beds for the sick and for surgical cases. 

" Mahomet the Second, Emperor of the Turks, surnamed 
the Great, was born about eight hundred years after Ma- 
homet the prophet, at Adrianople, in 1430, and succeeded 
his father, Amurath the Second, in 145 1. It was under 
his reign that the Turkish Empire in Europe was raised 
upon the ruins of the Greek. His ancestor, Ottoman, or 
Othman, who rose from the rank of a common soldier, 
became a general of a sultan of Iconium, and laid the 
foundation of the grandeur of his house. He possessed 
himself of a part of Bythinia, and of Cappadocia. Then 
his son Orchan added to these possessions Mysia, Caria, 
and all the provinces that extend towards the Hellespont. 
Amurath I. afterwards subdued the whole of Asia Minor, 
passed the Bosphorus in 1355, and took Adrianople, the 
second city in the empire, where he fixed his residence.* 

" In 1429 Amurath II. resumed the project of his ances- 
tors, and, having been successful in Asia, crossed the 
Hellespont, possessed himself of Thessalonia, poured his 
troops into every part of the Grecian empire, destroyed, 
in 1444, the Christian army in Hungary, and gave an em- 
peror to Constantinople in 1448. From this race of war- 
riors sprang Mahomet II., who, in cruelty, bravery, and 
* Historical Library. 


conquest, surpassed them all. He was twice called to the 
throne during the reign of his father, but resigned it in 
favor of his father. In 145 1 he a third time took the scep- 
tre, and resolved then to take possession of Constantino- 
ple, which his father had deferred. He invested that city 
with 300,000 men, and by a considerable fleet ; it was 
carried by assault in May, 1453. Constantine Dragaces, 
the last Turkish emperor, contended against his unhappy 
destiny with the courage of a hero. Betrayed by his sub- 
jects, abandoned by Europe, he perished, sword in hand, 
on that memorable day which eclipsed at once the liberty 
of the Greeks, the name of the Caesars, and the glory of 
an empire which had subsisted for fifteen centuries. 

"During the pillage of Constantinople, and all its at- 
tendant horrors, a pasha conducted to Mahomet a young 
princess, named Irene, whom her innocence and her beauty 
had saved from the general carnage. On seeing the de- 
stroyer of her country she burst into tears, and fell at his 
feet. Her youth, her anguish, and her tears augmented 
her attractions in his eyes. Mahomet for a moment 
contemplated her beauty, then dragged the victim to his 
palace, and for three days delivered himself to the gratifi- 
cation of his pleasure. His janissaries, indignant at his 
conduct, began to murmur; a vizier ventured even to re- 
proach his sensuality. Mahomet immediately ordered 
his captive to be brought before him, and, in the presence 
of his officers, severed her head from her body, saying, 
"It is thus that Mahomet releases himself from love." 
Three days afterwards he made his triumphal entry into 
the city, distributed rewards to the conquerors and his 
treasures among the vanquished, while he installed him- 
self a patriarch. 

"Mahomet II. thus rendered himself notorious by rav- 
aging the earth. During thirty-one years he subdued two 


empires, twelve kingdoms, and two hundred cities, meet- 
ing little or no resistance from the Christian princes, who 
could not unite to oppose so formidable an enemy." 
Nor need we wonder, since such is history, that there 
should have been made up the awful story of a " Blue 
Beard," who is said to have tormented and destroyed so 
many beautiful and innocent ones ; a story that is now 
become familiar throughout all Christendom. 

" There was a poor parson of the town 
But rich he was of holy thought and work. 

Wide was his parish, and houses far asunder 
But he ne left not, for no rain nor thunder 
In sickness and in mischief to visit 
The farthest in his parish, much or lit, 
Upon his feet, — and in his hands a staff 
This noble ensample to his sheep he gaf 
That first he wrought and after that he taught. 

He was to sinful men not dispiteous 
Nor of his speech dangerous nor deign, 
But in his teaching discreet and benign. 
To drawen folk to heaven with fairness 
By good ensample was his business. 

He waited after no pomp nor reverence 
Nor maked him a spiced conscience, 
But Christes love and His apostles twelve 
He taught, and first he followed it himselve.'' 

Canterbury Tale, Prologue. 

Here we cannot but notice that parallel line in history 
— I refer to sacred story — termed "The Scriptures," or 
" The Word of God." These two prominent lines, or 
as we may say, two strands of the warp in the loom of 
time, God's Word and Medicine, are probably the most 
important of all the threads of ancient story. In some 


respects these two seem much alike, as their aim and 
tendency are for the best good of the human race, each 
for sanitary and healing effects; yet the one is greater 
than the other. Moreover they are quite unlike in their 
source and perfection. The sacred Word came from our 
great Creator, and was in all fundamental respects per- 
fect from the beginning, bringing with it only truths, 
laws, and commandments, and a scheme of everlasting 
salvation, all-sufficient for each and every individual 
spirit, which has only developed in the course of time. 
These two were brought near together in the person of 

Medicine began indefinite and imperfect, containing 
an admixture of truths and errors that have needed cor- 
recting and improving in every age, nor needs it less to- 
day. The minister and the missionary has a sure word 
of gospel from which to preach and prescribe, though 
the same old story, yet always fresh, true, and sufficient, 
if dispensed with skill and the aid of the Holy Spirit, as 
promised; for he can prescribe a practice that is infalli- 
ble in every case, if only believed and lived ; while the 
physician, like every other philosopher and scientist, is 
obliged to work on and change his base from time to 
time as knowledge and means increase, and so feel his 
way on to more nearly complete and uniform methods 
and rules, yet never infallible. 

Those royal writings of the Bible were first arranged, 
under authority, by Moses, and then, after more than a 
thousand years, they, with additions, were collated by 
Nehemiah, and then again by Ezra, about a century be- 
fore Hippocrates. They were again re-written for the 
Alexandrian Library in Egypt, about two hundred years 
before the Christian era. The Samaritans carefully pre- 
served a complete copy, and the Jews have always kept 



another copy with a nation's care and pride all along the 
ages ; so that, unlike medical writings, they were pre- 
served more select and sacred, pure and perfect. In fact, 
the word of God was bound up by itself as a precious 
scroll, in the preservation of which all nations were inter- 
ested. The Bible was completed, with the addition of 
the gospels, epistles, and the Revelation of St. John, 
about loo A.D. All culture in all civilized nations now 
recognize its heavenly influence, so that it is indeed The 
Book for every individual to know, respect, and delight 
to read. 

An Example of the Sphere and Service of Physicians in 
very Ancient Times. 

The following scene and conversation, a word-picture, 
mostly taken from " The Egyptian Princess," may con- 
cisely illustrate the ordinary daily life of the physician 
and people of ancient Egypt about B.C. 528. This was 
the actual occasion when the famous Croesus, of former 
fabulous wealth, visited Amasis, the reigning Pharaoh ; 
which also accords with the account by Herodotus.* The 
writer opens the scene by stating, " It is not an ap- 
proaching army, but a grand embassy from Cambyses, 
the ruler of that most powerful kingdom, Persia." 

" Said Phanes, ' At Samos I heard that they had already 
reached Miletus, and in a few days they will be here. 
Some of the king's own relatives are among the number; 
the aged Croesus, king of Lydia, too ; we shall behold a 
marvellous splendor and magnificence ! Nobody knows 
the object of their coming, but it is supposed that Cam- 
byses wishes to conclude an alliance with Amasis ; in- 
deed, some say the king solicits the hand of Pharaoh's 
* Dr. G. Ebers, " Egyptian Princess," p. 14. 


daughter.' 'An alliance?' asked Phanes, with an 
incredible shrug of the shoulders. ' Why, the Persians 
are rulers over one-half of the world already. All the 
great powers have submitted to their sceptre ; Egypt 
and our own mother country, Hellas, are the only two 
that have been spared by the great conqueror.' 

"'You forget India, with its wealth of gold, and the 
great migratory nations of Asia,' answered Kallias. 
' And you forget, moreover, that an empire composed, 
like Persia, of some seventy nations or tribes of different 
languages and customs, bears the seeds of discord ever 
within itself, and must, therefore, guard against the chance 
of foreign attack, at least while the bulk of the army be 
absent, also lest single provinces should seize the oppor- 
tunity and revolt from their allegiance. Whatever the 
intentions of the envoys may be, they will be here within 
three days.' 

" The old King Amasis received the Persian embassy 
shortly after their arrival, with all the amiability and 
kindness peculiar to him. Soon after he was seen walk- 
ing with Crcesus in the palace gardens. ' Does happiness 
consist in possessions?' asked Crcesus, the ex-king, whose 
sumptuous palace had been in Sardis. ' Is happiness 
itself a thing to be possessed? Nay, by no means! It 
is nothing but a feeling, a sensation, which is vouchsafed 
more often to the needy than to the mighty. The clear 
sight of the latter becomes dazzled by the glittering treas- 
ures, and they cannot but suffer continual humiliation ; 
because, conscious of possessing power to obtain much, 
they wage an eager war for all, and are therein contin- 
ually defeated, and consequently unhappy.' 

" ' And yet,' said Amasis, ' Death has for us too his 
terrors, and we do all in our power to evade his grasp. 
Our physicians would not be celebrated and so esteemed 


as they are if we did not believe that their skill could 
prolong our earthly existence. This reminds me of the 
oculist Nebenchari, whom I sent to Susa, to the king. 
Does he maintain his reputation ? Is the king content 
with him ? ' 

" ' Very much so,' answered Croesus. ' He has been of 
use to very many of the blind ; but the king's mother is, 
alas ! still sightless. It was Nebenchari who first spoke 
to Cambyses of the charms of thy daughter Tachot. 
But we deplore that he understands the diseases of the 
eye alone. When the Princess Atossa lay ill of a fever 
he was not to be induced to bestow a word of counsel.' 

" ' That is very natural,' replied Amasis the king. ' Our 
physicians individually are only permitted to treat one 
part of the body. We have aurists, dentists, oculists, and 
surgeons for fractures of the bones, and other physicians 
for internal diseases. By the ancient priestly law (for 
all physicians are priests) a dentist is not allowed to 
treat a deaf person, nor a surgeon to treat a patient with 
disease of the bowels ; though he should have a first-rate 
knowledge of internal complaints. This law aims at 
securing a great degree of thorough practical knowledge ; 
an aim, indeed, pursued by the priests (to whose caste 
the given physician belongs) with a most praiseworthy 
earnestness, not only in medicine, but in all branches of 
science. Yonder is the house of the high-priest Nei- 
thotep, whose knowledge of astronomy and geometry 
was so highly praised even by Pythagoras. It is, you 
see, there next to the porch leading to the temple 
of the goddess Neith. Would I could show you the 
sacred grove, with its magnificent trees, the splendid 
pillars of the temple, with capitals modelled from the 
lotus flower, and the colossal chapel, which I caused to 
be wrought from a single piece of granite, as an offering 


to the goddess ; but, alas ! entrance is strictly refused 
to strangers by the priests. 

" ' Many prominent in the healing arts have been 
brought up in the house of Seti.* But few remain after 
passing the examination for the degree of Scribe. The 
most gifted were sent to Heliopolis, where flourished, in 
the great " Hall of the Ancients," the most celebrated 
medical faculty in those times ; whence they returned 
to Thebes, endowed with the highest honors in surgery, 
in ocular treatment, or in some other branch of the pro- 
fession, and then became physicians to the king, or made 
a living by teaching and by being called in to consult on 
serious cases. Most of the doctors lived on the east 
side of the Nile, in Thebes proper, and even in private 
houses with their families, but each was attached to a 
priestly college. Who ever required a physician, sent 
for him, not to his own house, but to the temple. 
There a statement was required of the messenger con- 
cerning the complaint from which the sick person was 
suffering, and then it was left with " the principal of the 
medical staff of the sanctuary" to select that master of 
the healing art whose special knowledge and experience 
qualified him to be best suited for the treatment of the 
case.' " 

" Like all priests, the physicians and surgeons lived on 
the income which came to them from their landed prop- 

* What is here stated with regard to the medical schools refers to a pe- 
riod as far back as fifteen centuries before the Christian era, and is princi- 
pally derived from the medical writings of the Egyptians themselves, 
among which the " Ebers Papyrus " holds the first place, those in Berlin 
the second, and a hierati MS. in London, which, like the first mentioned, 
has come down from the eighteenth dynasty. See also Herodotus ii., p. 34 ; 
Diodorus i., p. 82. Among the six hermetic books of medicine mentioned 
by Clement of Alexandria was one devoted to surgical instruments ; other- 
wise the badly set fractures found in some of the mummies, do little honor 
to the Egyptian surgeons, unless these cases or bones received no surgery. 



erty, from the gifts of the king, the contributions of the 
laity, and their regular share of the state revenues. 
They expected no honorarum from their patients. 
Though, according to every indication, the former Egyp- 
tian medical man had much real knowledge and skill, yet, 
standing by the bed of sickness as the ordained servant 
of the Divinity, it is but natural he should not be satis- 
fied with a simple rational treatment of the sufferer, but 
should think he could not dispense with the mystical, 
and efforts of prayers and vows." 

So it appears that, " by law," medicine was then prac- 
tised only in specialties; for all physicians and surgeons 
were specialists. Even in those very early times, as 
noticed also in the Epos of Pentaur, and by historians, 
when they dissected animals only or mostly, and " tested " 
their medicinal herbs and roots on both animals and man, 
they discovered the nature of strychnine or nux vomica, 
the hydrocyanic acid or " poison of the peach," and 
scammony, eleterium or the squirting cucumber, conium, 
aconite, aloes, senna, and manna, etc. Very funda- 
mental principles were put on record, too, in those times, 
and one thousand years afterwards some of them were re- 
peated by Hippocrates. As we now read and re-read 
them, they appear like real diamonds among the trash 
and dirt. Some of those very ideas we still accept ; and 
thus a multitude of important facts were discovered along 
the ages, and have been gleaned for our use by the old 
and still older writers and teachers of the different sects 
and schools before two hundred years ago. 

Throughout all those ages little or nothing is said of 
the origin or nature, or even the existence, of nervous 
affections, excepting hemiplegia, paraplegia, and epilepsy. 
As to diseases in general, but little was known ; materia 
medica and pharmacy were sadly behind surgery and ob- 


stetrics. Yet what facts did accumulate from time to 
time 'have been for the fathers, and are now for us, of in- 
estimable value, when joined with our newly acquired 
chemistry, physiology, and pathology and histology, and 
a better understanding of natur*e in disease, as well as 
in health. Moreover, not a sect now exists, not a school 
of old dogmatic or empirical medicine survives, that is 
recognized by the great learned body of regular physi- 
cians. Not one " old-school creed " of any of the former 
sects in medicine, so popular ages ago, is anywhere re- 
spected, or even tolerated. All have been tested and 
sifted, and all the valuable morsels have been selected 
out to enrich our present didactics"; while the immense 
refuse of doctrines, speculations, and creeds have been 
completely blown to the winds forever. 





THE science of medicine started on a grander career 
from the time of the appearance of the great work of 
Vesalius on anatomy, published in many editions about 
the middle of the sixteenth century. This was followed 
by more correct and minute physiology, and this led to 
pathology, and so on to more rational therapeutics. An- 
other whole century passed, however, before the art of 
healing received the aid of that great medical teacher 
and practitioner, Thomas Sydenham, of England. He 
was a long way in advance of the thousands of medical 
contemporaries in England and Europe. 

Then appeared Bonetus, with his massive work Scpul- 
chretum, sive Anatomia Practica, in 1679, which really 
laid the foundation of pathological anatomy. Then 
soon followed Morgagni's De Sedibus ct Causis Morbortun, 
which confirmed it. Harvey had already appeared and 
demonstrated the circulation of the blood. Next came 
Albert Von Haller, one of the greatest, because most 
learned and wise, physicians up to his time. He devel- 
oped physiology and all that that signifies. His atten- 
tion was directed especially to the nervous system, the 
functions and limitation of the different classes of nerves. 
He arrived at the conclusion that muscle fibres can be 
made to contract independent of nerve fibrils. This 
doctrine long agitated the medical world, and was termed 


" Hallerian irritability." It is a question with some to 
the present time. 

The great John Hunter was also in the field at that 
time, and these were followed by Cullen, Brown, and 
others, the fathers in medicine, to whom we are and 
shall always be indebted for many fundamental facts in 
this science and art. Then we arrive at the beginning of 
the present epoch, the nineteenth century. The im- 
provements of this last period, of course, all are better ac- 
quainted with, and they need to be only mentioned by 

But how much more meagre and crude must have been 
the instruments and books of the forefathers of old Eng- 
land, when in the fifth century they took their journey 
westward from old Saxony, and Engle, and Jutland to 
cross the sea and found a nation in their now beautiful 
island home. In the ages following, however, the culture 
of Italy, Spain, France, and Germany overtook them. 
Finally, in the thirteenth century, Roger Bacon appeared 
in England and produced his Opus Majus, and intro- 
duced, or attempted to do so by his teachings, his prac- 
tical chemistry, which was a great improvement on their 
wretched chemico-alchemy. However, he was too early, 
for they put him down and out, preferring old alchemy, 
which still damaged medicine for many centuries longer. 
In the lapse of time there was real improvement. It is 
evident that later on England, with her Oxford, King's 
College, and Edinburgh University, was the very fore- 
most nation in all the world for improvement in general 
learning during the last four or five hundred years — ex- 
cepting the last fifty years, perhaps, when France and 
Germany have been her peers. 

Soon after the year 1700 A.D., as already stated, the 
art of medicine started on a new career, for the great 


work of Vesalius on anatomy was published, by which 
the way was made ready for it. Bonetus had already 
appeared, and Morgagni, which fairly opened pathology ; 
and Sydenham was in the field. True, about this time 
appeared Stahl at the University of Jena, and flourishing 
in Prussia, established the famous " Expectant " school 
of medicine, founded upon the pathological tluory of 
Van Helmont and the psychological doctrines of Des- 
cartes. He taught that on the one hand plethora and on 
the other ancemia were the principal causes of disease. 
Also, that " spirits " or vitality, and the vis medicatrix na- 
turce will bring about health with little or no aid. Then 
came Hoffman, professor at Halle, who advocated an- 
other "system " of medicine, basing the cause of disease 
in a morbid influence from the nervous system, joined 
with a humoral condition. And a still greater contem- 
porary was Herman Boerhaave of Leyden, a very learned 
man, an advocate of the " humoral pathology." 

John Hunter arose, and William Cullen, followed by 
Albert von Haller with William Hunter, followed by 
Dr. John Brown, the founder of the " Brunonian system," 
about 1760. His school or system was founded upon 
what he termed "local excitability." Before him, how- 
ever, Haller had already taught a general excitability ; 
that is, that muscle fibres, and perhaps other tissues, may 
be made to contract by direct stimulation, without the 
aid of any nerves. This was long resisted by a large 
part of the profession, and by some even to the present 
time; this being mentioned in medical works as the Hal- 
lerian irritability, but in no way as constituting any sep- 
arate school or sect. 

The present high degree of attainment in the different 
departments of the healing art is not, then, all born of 
the present time, as so many think or assume, and not a 


few assert. The latter tacitly claim that almost all knowl- 
edge in therapeutics has developed, as it were, since yes- 
terday, or certainly in our own day. The fact is, old- 
time medicine was wonderfully right in some respects, 
and egregiously wrong in others. According to Egyptian 
records, as found in their ancient papyrus, from the 
times of the Ramases, dating back to B.C. 1400 or 1500, 
there were medical specialists; or rather, for thorough- 
ness, all medicine was so practised by law of the land. 

That we may estimate the degree of this wave of in- 
creased knowledge and the facilities for carrying on a 
more elegant, scientific, and skilful practice of medicine, 
let us but look back again from this standpoint into the 
very twilight edge of the lingering shadows of the dark 
ages, less than two hundred years ago. We shall observe 
there the bold admixture of some new truths with old 
errors ; and yet so soon as the present time, medical 
and surgical improvements are not surpassed by ad- 
vances in any other department of literature, science, 
art, or mechanics, great as they all have been during the 
same period. True, some of the old and oldest medical 
opinions and principles are our opinions and principles; 
and some of their perplexing inquiries are still before us, 
as unanswered as ever. We are still learning, and have 
much to learn. To this end we must continue to be 
teachable and inquiring, though we possess the present 
knowledge and skill. 

About the year 1700 A.D. we find that the educated 
physicians began to think for themselves, and step by 
step to call in question their antiquated theories and 
practice. The public was ready for it, yes, demanded it. 
They had in England already very brilliant contempora- 
ries in other studies and pursuits, such as Sir Isaac New- 
ton, Dean Swift, Samuel Johnson, Pope, Addison and 


6 9 

Steele, Bolingbroke, and Sir Robert Walpole. This was 
in the reign of Queen Anne and that of George the First, 
yet it was her Royal Highness that continued the practice 
of " the touch " for the cure of " king's evil,"- or scrofula. 

We may infer that at this time medical libraries were 
small and few, and that surgical instruments were fewer 
still. Especially was this true in regard to those physi- 
cians who first came over to these New England shores 
with our pilgrim and Puritan forefathers between 1620 
and 1650. 

Boerhaave took the degree of M.D. in 1693, at the Uni- 
versity of Harderwick. In 1703 the students at Leyden 
requested him to teach them chemistry. Soon he pub- 
licly contended for mechanical reasoning in Physic, and 
he became a chief supporter of this idea, though that 
doctrine sprung from Borelli, a native of Naples, in 1640, 
who was a professor in the universities of Florence and 
Pisa. At that date the chemists and the mathematicians 
divided the whole empire of medicine for some time. But 
Stahl, in Germany, soon made a great sensation in an- 
other direction, for he adopted the idea of " anima," 
which he conceived to be all-pervading, and of a specific 
nature, a principle to oppose the physical powers of mat- 
ter, and possessed of a species of intelligence capable of 
acting the part of a rational agent, superintending all the 
corporeal operations. Hahnemann, one hundred years 
later, accepted this proposition, and adjusted his infinites- 
imal dose to it. This " anima," or nature, was first 
stated by Hippocrates two thousand years before. 

Boerhaave conceived the existence of two opposite prin- 
ciples in the human body, one of which is constantly tend- 
ing to corruption and death, the other to health, repair, 
and life. The first depended on the elementary composi- 
tion of the organism, the second on the power and energy 


of the mind. Hoffman, a contemporary, rather ascribed 
this power to the nervous system, instead of " anima," 
and thus he led the way to a more reasonable system of 
physiology.* Boerhaave endeavored to explain the func- 
tions of the body in health, the phenomena of disease, 
their causes, symptoms, and even the action of medicines 
for their relief, according to the laws of statics and hy- 
draulics, and also by the operation of chemistry. 

" Boerhaave once intended to prepare a chronological 
history of the alchemists, intending thereby to show 
that from Geber to Stahl they had all been misled by 
one and the same error. He had taken great pains on 
this subject, and the non-completion of his labor is a loss 
to this class of history, for he had read over most dili- 
gently the works of Paracelsus four times, and those of 
Helmont seven times ; his De Mercurio Experimenta re- 
lates to the transmutation of metals as put forth by Para- 
celsus, Helmont, Basil, Valentine, and others, a doctrine 
which Boerhaave thought should be considered as feasi- 
ble. Impressed with this idea, he tried to consummate 
the purification of quicksilver. With matchless perse- 
verance he tortured it by conquassations, triturations, di- 
gestion, and by distillation, either alone or by amalgama- 
tion with lead, tin, or gold, repeating his operation to 
five hundred and eleven times, and even to eight hundred 
and seventy-seven distillations, yet with what result? It 
only appeared rather more bright and liquid, without any 
other variation." 

" If the mechanical hypothesis embraced by Paracel- 
sus is unable to account for the operations of the animal 
system in health, equally defective must it be to explain 
the effect of the various diseases to which it is subject. 
These views are now exploded, but it will probably amuse 

* " Memoirs of Physicians," by Pettigrew, vol. i. 



some of my readers, who may not be aware of the extent 
to which these opinions were carried, to know that 
the same process of reasoning was applied to the reme- 
dies proposed for the cure of diseases. In the Philosoph- 
ical Transactions (vols. 24 and 26) there is actually a table 
constructed by Dr. Cockburn, in which are enumerated 
the different medicines commonly employed, and in 
which the doses are severally adjusted by mathematical 
rules and precision, according to the age, the sex, and the 
constitution of the patient. The doses are as the squares 
of the constitution! Will it be believed that such a doc- 
trine should have been seriously entertained in the eight- 
eenth century? Yet we find a writer (Dr. Balguy) in the 
Edinburgh Medical Essays patiently regarding the sub- 
ject, and attempting to correct what he considered to be 
the errors in this table ! " You are to dose," says he, 
" so much of the medicine as is spent in the stomach and 
intestines directly as the constitution, and so much as is 
carried into the blood as the square of the constitution, 
and the sum into the person's size is the quantity re- 

Dr. Brown, in establishing his " system," called the Bru- 
nonian system of medicine, divided all diseases into two 
great classes ; the one he termed " sthenic," and the other 
" asthenic," in character; the former to be treated with 
lowering remedies, the latter with tonics and stimulants. 
Though this " system " after a time died out, these two 
generalizing terms sthenic and asthenic are conveniently 
retained, and are still found in some modern medical liter- 
ature. As Dr. Brown was largely a theorist, while Dr. 
William Cullen was a sensible man, as says Dr. Holmes, 
the clash between them and their followers was fierce and 
long, so as to affect the whole medical world of that day, 
especially in England. Finally, the famous Brunonian 


"system " was put down, and with it the older systems 
of former times, all of which had been but the natural 
outgrowth of imperfect knowledge. With the increasing 
information in physiology, pathology, and chemistry, 
those systems soon died out, and a more scientific and 
rational theory and practice began to prevail. 

First Physicians in America. 

Dr. Samuel Fuller was the first physician who came to 
New England. He was one of the first company who 
came over in the Mayflower and landed on Plymouth 
Rock, December 22d, 1620. He was one of the deacons 
of the Rev. John Robinson's church. It is not certain 
that he was a graduate in medicine, but he is said to have 
been well qualified in his profession, and proved emi- 
nently useful as a surgeon and physician. He not only 
extended his benevolent labors to the sick among the 
people at Plymouth, and to the aborigines in the vicinity, 
but, by the request of Governor Endicott, he twice visited 
the new settlement of Salem, where he manifested his 
skill and success in the treatment of the scurvy and other 
diseases prevailing there at that time ; which was publicly 
acknowledged by the Governor of the province. 

On looking back over the early history of our country, 
we find that more than a century and a half elapsed 
after its first settlement before a single institution exist- 
ed, either for the education of physicians or the regula- 
tion of medical practice. Early and ample provision was 
made for common schools, and even colleges were estab- 
lished ; and there were many learned civilians and accom- 
plished clergymen, but scarcely a regularly educated and 
scientific physician could be found — none, except here and 
there one who had come from Europe. Our ancestors 


had the peculiarities of their native country and the spirit 
of that age in regard to all things excepting religion, 
liberty, and morality. Science had been but little culti- 
vated, and it was extremely limited and hypothetical 
when our ancestors embarked for America. The de- 
pressed state of medical science throughout Europe at 
that time, and their own difficulties and hardships when 
first here, will account for their disregard of medical 
education, and its slow progress for many years after.* 

The first medical work published in America was 
written by a learned clergyman of Boston, and en- 
titled "A Brief Guide in the Small-Pox and Measles." 
It was printed in 1677. Another soon followed by 
another clergyman, with the title of " A Good Manage- 
ment under the Distemper of the Measles." Indeed, it 
was the general opinion of the public that ministers 
ought to acquire a practical knowledge of medicine, as 
they generally aimed to do, in order to discharge the 
duties of piety and humanity to the needy people ; and 
though their medical knowledge was limited, their gen- 
eral intelligence and Christian heart aided them to make 
good use of it, for, unlike the empirics of later times, they 
were actuated by the purest motives, and for which the 
people expressed the greatest thankfulness. Yet this 
state of things did not continue for a very great length 
of time. 

Early in 1638 Harvard College was founded at Cam- 
bridge, in New England. Though originally designed to 
train young men for the evangelical ministry, and to 
educate the native Indians of the country, as stated by 
Thomas Sewall, M.D., of Columbia College, it was not 
long before some of its graduates began to turn their at- 
tention to the profession of medicine. Young men, after 
* T. Sewall, M.D., of New York. 



studying also a suitable time with the most eminent phy- 
sicians in America, repaired to Europe to finish their edu- 
cation and preparation for practice. Soon this number was 
augmented by the graduates of William and Mary Col- 
lege of Virginia and Yale College in Connecticut, the 
former of which was founded in 1691 and the latter 
in 1700. At a later period several of the graduates of 
Princeton College in New Jersey, founded in 1746, and of 
the College of Philadelphia, founded in 1754, pursued the 
same course. Thus were gradually introduced into this 
country a number of well educated physicians, most of 
them natives of the country. At this period females were 
mostly the accoucheurs of the country ; and any such 
thing as a respectable medical library did not exist. 
The works of Sydenham, Boerhaave, Huxam, Cowper, 
Keill, Douglass, Van Swieten, Mead, Brooks, Heister, 
and Lewis were almost the only authors known to the 
medical men here at that time, and but few of these in 
any one collection. Leonard Hoar, M.D., a distinguished 
scholar and physician of Massachusetts, was graduated 
first at Harvard College, in 1650. He soon went to Eng- 
land, and having completed his course of medical studies, 
received the degree of Doctor of Medicine, at the Univer- 
sity of Cambridge in 1653. He was probably the first 
native American who graduated in medicine. In 1672 
he was elected President of Harvard College, which office 
he held till his death in 1675. — Magnalia, iv. 129. 

A new era now commenced here and in England and 
in Europe. The science began to revive. In 1719 the 
foundation of the great medical school of Edinburgh 
was commenced by the elder Monro, and medical instruc- 
tion in London was elevated by William and John Hun- 
ter, while the University of Leyden was brought to high 
repute by Boerhaave and others, and the medical 



schools of France began to assume a new character; 
and our physicians here, while they felt this influence 
from abroad, perceived the necessity of adopting meas- 
ures to check the progress of quackery and empiricism, 
which then threatened to overspread the country. 

As early as 1750 the body of a criminal executed for 
murder was dissected in the city of New York by two 
of the most eminent physicians of that day, and the 
blood-vessels were injected, and the whole prepared for 
preservation in the medical museum, for the instruction 
of the young men then engaged in the study of medi- 
cine. Six years after this— that is, in 1756 — a course of 
lectures on anatomy and surgery was delivered at New- 
port, R. I., by Dr. W. Hunter, a Scotch physician, edu- 
cated at Edinburgh. Then, in 1765, a regularly organized 
medical s'chool was commenced in Philadelphia, Pennsyl- 
vania. The second medical school instituted in this 
country is that of the city of New York, first established 
under the charter of King's College, in 1767, three years 
only after that at Philadelphia. But its prospects were 
soon interrupted by the Revolutionary War, and it was 
not till the year 1792 that it was recommenced, this 
time recognized by the trustees of Columbia College, 
which had been known by the name of King's College 
before the Revolutionary War. Now this medical school 
is styled the College of Physicians and Surgeons of New 

The next great medical school started in this country 
is the Harvard Medical College, first established at Cam- 
bridge, Massachusetts, in 1782, nearly a century and a 
half after the classical department of Harvard University 
had been in successful operation. This is now one of 
the largest and most thorough medical schools of learn- 
ing in the United States. It was soon after the Revolu- 

7 6 


tionary army had encamped at Cambridge, and Washing- 
ton had taken command of it, and military hospitals 
opened in that town, that this medical school opened. 
The reception of the sick and wounded called together 
the physicians from every part of the country ; new forms 
of disease were developed, and important surgical opera- 
tions presented which gave rare opportunity for practical 

One of the greatest medical improvements in the eight- 
eenth century was preventing the great mortality from 
small-pox by " inoculation." 

Sacred to the Memory of * 
The Rt. Honorable 


Who happily introduced from Turkey 

into this Country 

the Salutary Art 

of Inoculating the Small-pox. 

Convinced of its efficacy 
she first tried it with success 
on her own children, and then recommended the practice of it 
to her fellow citizens. 

Thus by her example and advice 

we have softened the virulence and escaped the danger of this 

malignant disease. 

To perpetuate the memory of such benevolence, 

and to express her gratitude 

for the benefit she herself received 

from this alleviating art, 

this monument is erected by 

Henrietta Inge, 

relict of Theodore William Inge, Esq., 

and daughter of Sir John Wrotlesley, Bart., 

in the year of our Lord 


" She died 1762, a;t. 73." This epitaph is on a ceno- 
*"Li£e of Mary W. Montague," pp. 305-7. 


taph in the cathedral at Litchfield, England. The monu- 
ment consists of a mural marble, representing a female 
figure of Beauty weeping over the ashes of her preserver, 
supposed to be enclosed in the urn, inscribed with her 
cypher — M. W. M. The following extracts are taken 
from Lady Montague's correspondence about that time, 
showing her surroundings. 

"At Belgrade Village. 

" As to the balm of Mecca, I will certainly send you 
some, but it is not so easily got as you suppose, and I 
cannot, in conscience, advise you to make use of it. I 
know not how it comes to have such universal applause. 
All the ladies of my acquaintance at London and in Vi- 
enna have begged me to send pots of it to them. I have 
had a present of a small quantity (which I assure you 
is very valuable) of the best sort, and with great joy ap- 
plied it to my face, expecting some wonderful effect to 
my advantage. 

" The next morning the change indeed-was wonderful 

my face was swelled to an extraordinary size, and all 

over as red as my Lady H 's. It remained in this state 

three days, during which you may be sure I passed my 
time very ill. . . . They all make use of it and have 
the loveliest bloom in the world. For my part, I never 
intend to make use of it again, but let my complexion 
take its natural course and decay in its own due time." 

" Adrianople, April i, 1717. 
" Apropos of distempers, I am going to tell you a thing 
that will make you wish yourself here. The small-pox, 
so fatal and so general among us, is here entirely harmless, 
by the invention of ingrafting, which is the term they give 
it. There is a set of old women who make it their busi- 
ness to perform the operation every autumn, in the 



month of September, when the great heat is abated. 
People send to one another to know if any of their family- 
have a mind to have the small-pox ; they make parties 
for this purpose, and when they are met (commonly fif- 
teen or sixteen) together the old woman comes with a 
nut-shell full of the matter of the best sort of small-pox, 
and asks what vein you please to have opened. She im- 
mediately rips open that you offer to her with a large 
needle, which gives you no more pain than a common 
scratch, and puts in as much matter as can lay upon the 
head of her needle, and after that binds up the little 
wound with a hollow bit of shell, and in this manner 
opens four or five veins. The Grecians have commonly 
the superstition of opening one in the middle of the fore- 
head, one in each arm, and one in the breast, to mark the 
sign of the cross. But this has a very ill effect, all of 
these wounds leaving little scars, and is not done by 
those that are not superstitious, who choose to have them 
in the leg, or in that part of the arm that is concealed. 
The children or young patients play together all the rest 
of the day, and are in perfect health to the eighth. Then 
the fever begins to seize them, and they keep their beds 
two days, very seldom three. They have very rarely 
above twenty or thirty in their faces, which never mark, 
and in eight days' time they are well as before their 

" Every year thousands undergo this operation, and 
the French ambassador very pleasantly says, they take 
the small-pox here by way of diversion, as they take the 
waters in other countries. I intend to try it on my dear 
little ones." 

Among letters during her husband's embassy to Con- 
stantinople is found this from Addison : " Being very 


well pleased with the Spectator I cannot forbear sending 
you one of them and desiring your opinion of the story 
in it. When you have a son I shall be glad to be his 
Leontine, as my circumstances will probably be like his. 
I have within a twelvemonth lost a place of £2000 per 
annum, an estate in the Indies of ^14,000, and, what is 
more than all the rest, my mistress. Hear this, and won- 
der at my philosophy. I find that they are going to take 
away my Irish place too, to which I must add that I 
have just resigned my fellowship, and the stocks sink 
every day. If you have any hints or subjects, pray send 
me a paper full. . . . Dick Steele and I often remember 

" I am, dear Sir, 

"Yours eternally, etc., 

" J.Addison." 

To which Lord Montague answers: 

" Notwithstanding your disappointments, I had much 
rather be in your circumstances than my own ; the 
strength of your constitution would make you happier 
than all who are not equal to you in that." 

The Sultana Hafiten, favorite of the late Emperor Mus- 
tapha, invited Lady Montague to visit her. She went, 
and in a letter to an English friend thus describes the 
dress of the sultana : " Her donalma was tied at the waist 
with two large tassels of smaller pearls" (then a certain 
fringe), " and around the arms embroidered with large 
diamonds. Round her neck she wore three chains, which 
reached to her knees — one of large pearls, at the bottom 
of which hung a fine colored emerald, as big as a turkey's 
egg ; another consisting of two hundred emeralds closely 
joined together, of the most lively green, perfectly 


matched, every one as large as a half-crown piece and 
as thick as three crown pieces, and another of small em- 
eralds, perfectly round. But her ear-rings eclipsed all the 
rest ; they were two diamonds shaped exactly like pears 
and as large as a big hazel-nut. Around her kalpac she 
had four strings of pearls, the whitest and most perfect 
in the world, at least enough to make four necklaces, every 
one as large as the Duchess of Marlborough's, and of 
the same shape, fastened with two roses, consisting of a 
large ruby for the middle stone, and around them twenty 
drops of clear diamonds to each. Besides this, her head- 
dress was covered with bodkins of emeralds and dia- 
monds. She wore large diamond bracelets, and had five 
rings on her fingers — except Mr. Pitt's, the largest dia- 
monds I ever saw in my life. 

" She gave me a dinner of fifty dishes of meat. . . . But 
the piece of luxury which grieved my eyes was the table- 
cloth and napkins, which were all tiffany, and embroidered 
with silk and gold in the finest manner in natural flowers, 
and towels of same kind, with which I very unwillingly 
wiped my hands. They were entirely spoiled before the 
meal was over." 

The two greatest medical improvements in the last 
century were the discovery and use of electrical apparatus 
for medical use, and the inoculation of the small-pox to 
reduce its great fatality. 

The credit of the introduction of inoculation for 
small-pox into this country is generally given to Cotton 
Mather, who had read in the Philosophical Transactions 
of the Royal Society at London, England, that this 
method was used in Turkey as a means of protection 
against the fatality of small-pox.* During a long time the 

* Centennial Address, by S. A.Green, M.D., in 1SS1, before the Mass. 
Med. Soc. 


practice had been kept up in Constantinople, where it 
was brought from farther east, and had met with much 
success. Rev. Dr. Mather tried to interest the Boston doc- 
tors in the subject, but at first it was opposed by them 
all excepting one, Dr. Zabdiel Boylston, who commenced 
the practice of it amid the most violent opposition. On 
the 26th of June, I72i,he inoculated his own son, Thomas, 
six years old, his negro man, of thirty-six years, and a 
little negro boy, of two and a half years. They all had 
the disease lightly, and he was encouraged to continue 
trying it on others. The colopy of Massachusetts had 
formerly suffered severely from the scourge of the small- 
pox, and the epidemics of it were periodical. The mor- 
tality from it was large and the effect disastrous, so that 
any help was a boon to the community. 

In the course of time inoculation conquered all oppo- 
sition, and finally became a well established fact in the 
community. Within the period of one year Dr. Boyls- 
ton inoculated two hundred and forty-seven persons, 
and of this number only six died ; and during the same 
period thirty-nine other persons in the neighborhood 
were inoculated by two other physicians, and all made 
good recoveries. This low rate of mortality, as compared 
with that among persons who had taken small-pox in 
the natural way, was a telling argument in favor of in- 
oculation, which was continued for about seventy-five 
years, when "vaccination" with kine-pox was discovered 
by Dr. Jenner in England, which was speedily introduced 
into this country, to supersede the smallpox inoculation. 

In 1799 Dr. Benjamin Waterhouse, of Cambridge, an 
early Fellow of the Massachusetts Medical Society, pub- 
lished an article entitled, " Something Curious in the Med- 
ical Line," which was the first account of kine-pox vac- 
cination that was given to the public in this country. 


In the year 1800 he published a tract entitled, " A Pros- 
pect of Exterminating the Small-pox : Being the History 
of the Variola Vaccina, or Kine-pox," etc., and in it he 
describes the method he used July 8, 1800, in vaccinat- 
ing his son, Daniel Oliver Waterhouse, a lad five years 
of age, who had this disease in a very mild way. From 
the arm of this boy he vaccinated others. 

The Harvard Medical School was removed from Cam- 
bridge to Boston in 1810. Since that period it has rap- 
idly grown into a most flourishing institution, near the 
great hospitals. The fourth medical school in the United 
States is that of Dartmouth College, at Hanover, New 
Hampshire, which was established in 1797. In 1798 Dr. 
Nathan Smith was appointed its sole professor, who for 
twelve years gave lectures on the different branches of 
medicine. At this time this school is greatly enlarged, 
and has numerous professors. In 1807 the College of 
Medicine of Maryland was established in Baltimore. In 
1813 the Medical School of Yale College was instituted 
under the charter of that seminary of learning, and estab- 
lished at New Haven, Connecticut, in close proximity to 
a large hospital. Since which time medical colleges have 
sprung up in almost every state of the Union, and a plen- 
tiful supply of well educated physicians and surgeons are 
provided for the needs of the whole population, and yet 
quackery and charlatanism find place to live and thrive. 

Although medical colleges are the principal means 
by which the science of medicine has been extended 
through the country, still there is another class of insti- 
tutions which has contributed to medical improvement. 
We refer to those societies formed for the regulation of 
the practice of physic, and the separation and suppression 
of quackery. As early as the year 1781, for this purpose, 
Legislature incorporated the Massachusetts Medical Soci- 



ety — embracing the regularly educated physicians in the 
state — a body politic, with power to frame a code of by- 
laws, and regulate the practice of medicine throughout 
the commonwealth ; to admit suitably qualified members 
and to expel all disqualified. Similar medical societies 
have since been incorporated by the Legislatures of all 
the United States. And these again are organized into 
the one great American Medical Association, which is 
composed of delegates from these state organizations, 
which is supposed to establish a recognized standard of 
medical qualifications. At the present time, the Massa- 
chusetts Medical Society has a by-law that prohibits any 
one becoming a member of it who advocates either ho- 
moeopathy, allopathy, or any other ism, pathy, or secta- 
rian practice, but allows female physicians, duly quali- 
fied, to be received on equal terms with the Fellows. 

Besides these medical colleges and associations for reg- 
ulating the education and practice of physicians through- 
out the land, hospitals, infirmaries, and asylums for stran- 
gers and the poor, sick, or insane, have been established in 
all parts of the country. Lately, we have public boards 
of health, and other supervisions of all things that endan- 
ger the health or threaten the safety of the people. Such 
has been the progress of true medical science in the 
United States during the past century that it is be- 
lieved we are not behind any other nation in these qual- 

We might mention, as some of the new things in the 
healing art, the superseding inoculation with small-pox 
by vaccination of kine-pox to prevent small-pox ; the dis- 
covery and use of electro-magnetic machines for medical 
use ; the stethscope and revival of percussion for phys- 
ical signs ; a great variety of important surgical instru- 
ments too numerous to designate ; the discovery Acarus 

8 4 


Scabici, the cause of the itch ; the acromatic microscope, 
and all its revelations ; the anaesthetics, as ether, chloro- 
form, and the nitrous oxide gas, etc. ; elegant pharmaceu- 
tical preparations in great variety ; the ophthalmoscope, 
laryngoscope , the antiseptics, as carbolic acid, chlorine, 
iodine, and bromine; the alkaloids: salacine, morphine ; 
atrophine, quinine, strychnine ; the calabar bean, ergotine; 
the sub-cutaneous syringe, and the atomizer, the aspira- 
tor, and the stomach-pump; the iodide of potassium, the 
bromides, and the hydrate of chloral, and dental instru- 
ments in great variety and elegance ; artificial teeth, and 
operations for strabismus, and for diseases in the ear, eye, 
nose, and fauces. There is also the fever-thermometer, 
and the sphigmograph. But we do not recall all that is 
new in modern medical science, nor can we describe the 
• items, for it would fill a book, so great are the resources 
of the medical profession of the present day. 

If we take our stand in the latter part of the last cent- 
ury and look forward into the beginning of the present, 
what do we see ? What a contrast with one hundred 
years before if we take Sir Richard Blackmore, physi- 
cian to the king in the early years of the eighteenth cent- 
ury, as an example of the rank and file of the profession 
in his day, and compare him with Sir Charles Bell, as the 
exponent of the medical profession in the early years oi 
the nineteenth century ! 

" Behold ! how brightly he breaks the morning, 
And casts his rays o'er lands unknown." 


The first year of the present century brought with it 
that young medical star whom we all know of as Sir 
Charles Bell. He then was only twenty-two, and the year 
before, in 1799, he was admitted a member of the Edin- 



burgh College of Surgeons, and then as one of the sur- 
geons of the Royal Infirmary. In 1806 Mr. C. Bell left 
Edinburgh for the wider field in London, though the 
lecture-rooms there were at that time occupied by anato- 
mists of the very highest repute, among whom were Sir 
Ashley Cooper and the famous Abernethy. When he 
there joined the Anatomical Society he found himself in 
company with Dr. Baillie, Mecline, Abernethy, Cooper, 
Sir E. Holmes, Mr. Wilson, and the anatomical professors 
of Oxford and Cambridge. He lectured before the medi- 
cal school in Great Windmill Street, where both the Hun- 
ters had been before him. Soon he was elected surgeon 
to the Middlesex Hospital, then Professor of Anatomy 
and Surgery to the Royal College of Surgeons. 

On the accession of William IV. it was proposed by 
Government, with the cordial sanction of the sovereign, 
to confer the distinction of knighthood on a limited num- 
ber of the most eminent men in science, and the following 
persons were selected : Sir C. Bell, Sir John Herschel, 
Sir David Brewster, Sir John Leslie, and Sir James Ivory. 
In consequence of his discoveries in the nervous system, 
which gave him a European reputation, Sir C. Bell was 
called to the London University, now University College. 
In 1836 he was invited to return to Edinburgh as a pro- 
fessor in the University there, which he accepted. In 
181 1 he published his "New Idea of the Anatomy of 
the Brain," in which he, for the first time, announced those 
views of the nervous system on which so much of his 
fame rests. 

Sir Charles Bell says : " Human sufferings and human 
credulity afford a never failing harvest ; quackery is an evil 

" ' Which walks uncheck'd, and triumphs in the sun.' 

" By much the larger portion of patients received into 


the cancer ward of the Middlesex Hospital have pre- 
viously spent their last penny, and, what is worse, they 
have lost that precious time in which they might have 
been cured, in trying the attendance of a set of the 
most unfeeling wretches that ever disgraced a country." 
In London, after Sir C. Bell had ceased to be a lecturer, 
his practice, though extensive, was chiefly in nervous 
affections, to which his high reputation entitled him to 
the first place. Consequently he was held in high es- 
teem in professional consultations in all difficult and 
obscure cases. 

Lord Brougham was a Christian philanthropist, and 
interested in the publication of The Library for the Dif- 
fusion of Useful Knowledge, and this drew out Sir C. 
Bell to prepare two papers on " Animal Mechanics," 
which became so deservedly popular, and no doubt led 
to the illustrated edition of Paley's " Evidences of Nat- 
ural Religion," and the Bridgewater Treatises. 

His researches in the structure and functions of the 
brain, the beginning and the end of the whole nervous 
system, to which every sensation is referred and where 
every idea originates, led him to announce "that the cere- 
brum and cerebellum are different in function as in form ; 
that the parts of the cerebrum have different functions; 
and that the nerves which we trace in the body are not 
single nerves of various powers, but bundles of different 
nerves, whose filaments are united or bound up together 
for the convenience of distribution, but which are dis- 
tinct in office as they are in their origin in the brain or 
spinal cord." 

At the present time, all medical men agree that ner- 
vous affections in number and variety are on the increase, 
relative to population. All the more so in cities and 
centres of culture and competitions. Time was when 



the people generally were content to have things as they 
had been long before. Not so now. Children are not 
willing to begin as their parents did, but strive to begin 
where their parents leave off — in ample homes and sur- 
roundings. We now cannot ride fast enough even in the 
steam-cars, or steam-boats, or with fine horses. Life 
with us all is too competitive and too fast ; inventions 
and improvements lead to rivalry, wealth leads to luxury 
and extravagance and ill health. The pressure begins 
with too much study in school hours and out, and with 
this high culture of the intellect the nervous system is 
rendered more susceptible to all impressions from vary- 
ing weather and circumstances. Steam-heated houses, 
carpets, and bad air from furnaces and from much com- 
bustion of gas, enfeeble us generally, and so unfit us for 

Hence, nervous affections, consumption, and increasing 
insanity. But with these come a new and varied class of 
remedies, especially for the nervous maladies, together 
with new methods in diagnosticating and treating them, 
that meets the exigency wonderfully. If we notice the 
space given to the recent discussions of diseases of the 
nerves, as in Braithwaite's "Retrospect," where all dis- 
eases are treated of in large classes, as those of the res- 
piratory system, those of the digestive system, those of 
the circulatory system, etc., we find space given to the 
nervous system is the largest. No doubt the increased 
demand calls out the sharpness of these researches, for 
from the study of the diseases of the nervous system 
we learn more of its nature than from any other source. 

In order to bring the subject of nervous affections, 
as they occurred some one hundred and fifty years ago — 
then generally called the Spleeii and the Vapors — graph- 
ically before the mind of the reader, the very thoughts and 


identical words of the old-time doctors must be before 
us ; not as one may now endeavor to describe them, but 
as the medical practitioners of those times themselves 
set them forth. To this end it will not do to quote 
either Willis or Sydenham, for they were a generation 
in advance of their times, but such educated reputable 
medical gentlemen of large practical experience who were 
well acquainted with the generally prevailing views of 
the profession and the public. One of the most prom- 
inent of those in England was good old Dr. George 
Cheyne, the practitioner and philosopher of whom we all 
have often heard. He was one of the earliest considerable 
writers on nervous maladies. Among the rare old med- 
ical books in our public library may be found a work by 
this " George_ Cheyne, M.D., F.C.R.Ed.S., F.R.S.," en- 
titled, " Medical, Moral, and Philosophical," dedicated to 
the Right Hon. Earl of Huntington, etc., etc., published 
in London, England, and dated in preface Bath, August 
15, 1730. Probably this was one of his last works. He 
evidently was an extensive writer, for he also wrote on 
the spleen, the vapors, lowness of spirits, the palsy, etc. 
He had a large experience, was a devout Christian and 
a versatile writer. 

George Cheyne, M.D., was born of a wealthy family 
in Scotland in 1671. He was educated professionally 
under the eminent Dr. Pitcairne, and graduated at Edin- 
burgh. He passed his youth in close study and regu- 
lar habits, but, according to his own account, he after- 
wards settled in London, and finding the young gentry 
and free livers to be the most easy of access and the 
most susceptible of friendship, he changed his course of 
living, under their influence, till in a few years he grew 
excessively fat, short breathed, lethargic, and quite indis- 
posed to active exercise. Having tried the powers of 



medicine in vain while still continuing this course of 
life, he says he finally resolved to adopt a plain, strictly 
milk and vegetable diet, with a free use of nuts. This, 
he says, soon began to remove his complaints, so that his 
size was finally reduced one half. He recovered his 
strength, cheerfulness, activity, and happiness. He is 
said to have lived to old age. He wrote an " Essay on 
Health and Long Life," "An Essay on the True Nature 
and Due Method of Treating the Gout," "A New Theory 
of Acute and Slow Continued Fevers," a work on " The 
Philosophical Principles of Religion, Revealed and Nat- 
ural." Also a work entitled "The English Malady: a 
Treatise on Nervous Diseases of all Kinds, in three parts." 
To quote freely from this last mentioned work will prob- 
ably give a good view of the theory and practice of 
old-medicine, especially as it relates to nervous affec- 
tions in those times ; which we must bear in mind was 
this side of the year 1720, or about IOO years since the 
Pilgrim Fathers landed on Plymouth Rock in Massachu- 
setts Bay. 

From his standpoint, Dr. Cheyne thought he saw dan- 
ger to his countrymen from their rapidly increasing 
wealth and consequent luxury; for he says dissipation 
was replacing their former diligence, frugality, and sim- 
plicity. In warning them of it, he wrote many works 
and aphorisms. It is said that while some persons were 
expatiating, in the presence of this cute old doctor, on 
the goodness and excellence of human nature, he said, 
" Hoot, hoot, mon ; human nature is a rogue and a 
moody scoundrel, or why should it perpetually stand in 
need of laws, physic, and religion ? " In fact, in some re- 
spects, Dr. Cheyne appears to have been to the English 
people in his day somewhat as Benjamin Franklin was 
to us one hundred years ago. Said he, " Instead of the 


plain good fare of former times, when the cattle and 
other animals, — as hogs and sheep, fowl and geese, — were 
allowed to roam the fields and feed in their natural 
way, they and we are over fed. The cattle are now doc- 
tored and stuffed almost out of their lives, and are made 
as great epicures as those who feed on them. For by 
stalling, cramming, bleeding, laming, sweating, and caus- 
ing them to eat such unnatural food, nervous disorders 
are produced in the animals themselves ; and this may 
be one cause of the alarming increase of nervous distem- 
pers among us of late. In fact, these causes, pretty 
nearly as I enumerate them, have been assigned by for- 
mer physicians and philosophers in former ages and coun- 
tries to have produced these same effects." 

" The Egyptians were the first to cultivate the art of 
ingenuity and politeness, so they soon arrived to frequent 
sicknesses, and likewise first brought the medical art to 
a high degree of perfection. The ancient Greeks, while 
they lived in their rigid simplicity and virtue, were 
healthy, strong, and valiant ; but in proportion as they 
advanced in wealth and learning, and became noted for 
politeness and refinement, they sank into effeminacy, 
luxury, dissipation, and diseases. They then began to 
study physic, to remedy the evils which their luxury 
and laziness brought upon them. Likewise the Romans 
fell from their greatness and heroic virtue, which had 
already gained them the world." He thus concluded 
that the recent rapid increase of nervous diseases had 
one cause in the increasing luxury and ease of the Eng- 
lish people. He quotes Celeus as saying that "these 
two, luxury and laziness, had first spoiled the habits, 
health, and constitution of the Greeks, and afterwards 
those of his own countrymen, the Romans, when they 
had become possessed of the luxury, as well as the 


country, of those polished people." "Since our naviga- 
tion is being so extended we have ransacked the globe 
to bring together articles of delicacy and variety, and in 
plenty, for luxury, riot, and excess. Then in large cities, 
like London, where the nervous distempers are most 
rife, outrageous, and obstinate, are added a multitude of 
additional causes peculiar to city life." 

However wrong, as well as right, this good-hearted 
doctor may have concluded in matters of medical theory 
and practice at that time, yet we shall doubtless find 
that he, together with Sir Richard Blackmore, physician 
to the king, and others whom we may quote, will lead 
us all to rejoice that, so far as medicine is concerned, we 
did not live before, nor about, two hundred years ago. 
In the next chapter we will quote Dr. George Cheyne 
and his contemporaries in their own words, as they re- 
late to the cause and cure of nervous affections in their 




This old-time doctor says: "The most general 
Sources and Causes of chronical Distempers are — ist. A 
glewiness, sizyness, or viscidity in the Fluids of the hu- 
man body, either accidental or acquired by those Per- 
sons who were born with sound and good-conditioned 
Juices ; or original and hereditary in those who have 
brought them so disposed into the world with them from 
the ill state of health or bad Humors of the Parents, 
which possibly they may have had transmitted to them 
from theirs, and so on for many Generations backwards.* 

" 2d. Some sharpness, grossness, or corrosive quality 
in the fluids, due to a saline or other irritative mixture 
thrown into them, or from some crude concretions not 
sufficiently broken and divided by the digestive powers 
in the Alimentary tube, retarding the circulation in the 
small vessels, whereby the stagnant juices become sharp 
and corrosive, and the salts have time, by stagnation and 
their innate attractive quality, to crystallize or unite in 
greater clusters and exert their destructive force on the 
solids ; and this will be still more pernicious and fatal if 
the Food is not only in too great a quantity for the 
concoctive Powers to break and divide completely, but 
likewise if too highly seasoned with Salt, from which 
the most terrible symptoms will ensue. 

* Cheyne on "The English' Malady," vol. i., p. 6, 3d ed. 


" 3d. A too great Laxity or want of Tone, Elasticity, 
and Force in the Fibres in general or in the Nerves in par- 
ticular ; for a due degree of strength and springyness 
is required in the fibres to make the Juices circulate and 
carry on their motions backwards and forwards in a con- 
tinual Rotation throughout the whole Habit, and to 
fully subtilize them so that they may easily pass through 
the finer tubes of the cappillary Vessels, and also through 
the strainers of the glands, both to throw off those Re- 
crements and grosser parts which are not required for 
the animal functions and to separate those Juices which 
are required for the Preservation of the individual. 

" The first cause mentioned will obstruct and some- 
times burst the small cappillary Vessels, producing Tu- 
mours, Swellings, and Ulcers, and will first tumefy and 
then relax and spoil the numerous Glands, and so stop 
the secretions and fill the body with vicious and morbid 
Juices. This swelling of the Glands will cause them to 
press upon the Nerves, stop or hinder their Vibrations, or 
Tremors, or whatever else be their Action. The second 
cause will not only rend, tear, and spoil the vessels, creat- 
ing acute pains and producing Scorbutick and Cancerous 
Ulcers and Sores in any or all parts of the body, but 
will also, by twitching the Nerves or their fibres, produce 
Pains, Convulsions, or Spasms, and all the terrible class 
of Nervous Distempers. 

" The Solids, and the Fibres and Nerves whereof they 
are woven and complicated, are subject to several Dis- 
orders, as from being too dry or too moist, so spoiling 
their due tone or Elasticity. The first is caused by too 
rich nourishment, which sends about the circulation too 
rapidly, producing inflammatory Disorders, high Fevers, 
and other acute diseases. The second is caused by too 
great quantity of nutritious or stimulating drinks, more 



than the Expences of the body requires, soaking and 
relaxing the Solids of the body and producing slow and 
cold diseases. 

"Another cause of Nervous Disorders is by noxious 
Particles getting into their Substances, which will grad- 
ually alter or spoil their Functions, whatever that may 
be, whether by Vibrations, intestine-like action and re- 
action, or however they act or are acted upon to con- 
vey and propagate the Sensations of influence of exter- 
nal bodies to the seat of the intelligent Principle ; for 
when the Juices are spoiled and the Blood declines from 
its due fluidity they become clogged by what I chuse to 
designate by the general name of Animal Salts. The 
Nerves and Fibres are thus injured or destroyed for 
producing their vibrations or tremors. 

" Finally, those Diseases are chiefly and properly called 
Nervous whose symptoms imply that the system of the 
Nerves and of their Fibres are evidently relaxed or 
broken. These may be embraced under the following 
heads : 

" Of the General Division of Nervous Distempers. 

" I. All Nervous distempers whatsoever, from Yawning 
and Stretching up to a mortal fit of Apoplexy, seems to 
me to be but one Disorder, or the several steps or Degrees 
of it, arising from the want of sufficient force and elasticity 
in the solids in general, and in the Nerves in particular, 
and in proportion to the irritation and resistance of the 
Fluids. In treating of Nervous Distempers the disor- 
ders of the Solids are chiefly to be regarded. 

" II. The most natural and general Division of ner- 
vous distempers will therefore be thus : first, into those 
diseases that, besides their other symptoms, are attended 



with a partial or total Loss of Sensation, for some time at 
least. This class will not only comprehend all those cases 
of Lowness of Spirits, lethargy, dulness, melancholy, and 
moping, up to the severest pains, or a complete Apoplexy, 
but also fainting Fits, so common in persons of weak 
nerves. These seem to be chiefly caused by a gross- 
ness or viscidity of the animal juices, which obstruct the 
vibrations and tremors of the nerves from the brain. 

"III. Those nervous Disorders which are attended 
with Loss of voluntary Motion, or perhaps also have the 
symptom of Shaking, in any or all of the instruments of 
voluntary motion. These are the Paralytic kind, from a 
general Palsy, a Hemiplegia (or palsy of half the body), 
or palsy of a limb, to a deadness, numbness, weakness, 
or coldness of any part. This class of nervous diseases 
seems to owe its cause to loss of Tone in the nervous sys- 
tem, or from suspension of nerve vibrations, whereby the 
Soul is disabled to communicate its Will, or Energy of 
motion, to the muscular fibres. 

" IV. Those Nervous Distempers that are attended 
with Spasms, Cramps, Convulsions, or violent Pains or 
contractions of the muscles. Of this kind are all the con- 
vulsive sort, from Hypochondriacal and Hysterical Fits, 
and the Convulsions of the Epileptic kind, down to 
Yawning and Stretching. These seem to be produced by 
saline particles, or some noxious steam or acrimonious 
fluid or wind, that is pent up and irritates the nerves, 
which provoke violent throws, contractions, cramps, and 
spasms, until tormenting and wearying out the elastic 
fibres at last by their strugglings and efforts the de- 
structive matter is discharged or removed. Much in the 
manner of that struggle which we observe from sulphu- 
reous, bituminous, vitrolick, and ferrugineous particles 
commingling and fermenting in the bowels of the Earth, 

96 myths in medicine. 

and acquire such force, violence, and impetuosity as to 
make houses, Palaces, and Cities shake and tremble, and 
to overturn Hills and Mountains, and make Rivers, Lakes, 
and the Sea itself to boil and heave ! till they have forced 
a Breach and rupture, for their passage into the air. But 
when the pent-up matter is not vented the solids are 
overpowered, the patient appears sinking, and after a few 
languid motions, and life is spent, the contest ends in 

" V. There is another common Division or distinction 
of Nervous Disorders, into original and the acquired. 
These differ but little. It is to be supposed that Mankind 
were originally made so as not to differ much from a 
standard of Good Health in their constitutions. There- 
fore original nervous disorders have had the same Source 
and cause with the acquired ones. It may be a misfort- 
une to be born with tender nerves, but if rightly used 
and managed, even in the present state of things, it may 
be the occasion of great Felicity; for it is, or ought to 
be, a fence and security against the snares of temptation 
to which the robust and strong are exposed, and into 
which they seldom fail to run, and thereby reduce them- 
selves to the same, or perhaps a worse state. I shall 
observe but two things in regard to these persons. 

" The first is, that they should never expect the same 
strength, nor be able to run into the same indiscretions 
or excesses of sensual pleasures, with those of coarse and 
strong fibre, without suffering presently, or on the spot, 
as the others never can. No art can make an Eagle of 
a Wren. The old proverb is still true, that ' A Venice 
Glass will last just as long, if well looked after, and even 
shine more bright, than a more gross and coarse one.' 
Infinite Goodness will ever bring good out of innocent 
evil. We may depend upon it. I can never be induced 


to believe that the omnipotent and infinitely good Crea- 
tor could, out of choice and election, or by unavoidable 
necessity, have brought some into such a state of misery. 
No, none but men themselves, — I mean the parents, who 
were the instruments or channels of these constitutions, — 
could have elected, directly or indirectly, to produce such 
effects. It is men and women themselves, by wrong do- 
ing, that create the miseries of the human family. 

" VI. When the general Causes I have mentioned 
came to exist in considerable degree and operate in this 
climate, then these Nervous Diseases began to appear 
more numerous, and with more atrocious symptoms. 
Sydenham, our countryman, is the noted Physician who 
has made the most particular and full Observations on 
them, and established them into particular Classes and 
Tribes, with proper though different Methods of cure 
from other chronical and humorous Distempers, though 
their nature, Cause, and Cure has been less known than 
those of other Diseases ; so that those who could give no 
tolerable account of them have called them the Vapours,, 
Spleen, Flatus, Nervous, Hysterical, and Hypochondri- 
acal Distempers. . . . 

" The sensible or compound Fibres, as they occur in 
the structure of the body and limbs, are of three kinds. 
First, some are loose, soft, and elastic, contracting easily,, 
being moistened with Blood freely; and such are all the 
muscular Fibres. Secondly, others are of a closer and 
more compact make, and their Elastic force is greater 
and quicker, being moistened with a watery fluid to keep 
them from growing rigid ; and such are the Fibres of the 
Membranes, Tendons, and Nerves, whose compactness 
seems to be the reason of their greater degree of Sensi- 
bility. They are evidently endued with sensibility above 
those of the first kind, the motion or impression commu- 

9 8 


nicated to them being thereby less interrupted, broken, or 
lost ; and a portion of these, the Nerves, are made use 
of to convey the impressions they receive from outward 
objects, by the muscular fibres, to the Sensorium in the 
Brain, and by it to the Sentient Principle, and then from 
it out to the Organs. Thirdly, the other set of fibres are 
of a hard and rigid make, whose elasticity is like that of 
Steel, and not fit for sensation. Of these kind of fibres 
are the Bones. 

" The Fibres in general, then, are much alike, differing 
in their composition according to the Uses they were in- 
tended for. It is likewise probable that all the fibres of 
the body are sensible, more or less, according to their 
density, elastic, or distractile quality, or connection with 
the Brain, the Nerves being only some of these. To tell 
precisely how these latter act is, I am sure, very difficult, 
and perhaps impossible; nor do I think it any way neces- 
sary to what I have to propose concerning the Nature and 
Cure of Nervous Distempers. I am of opinion that these 
disorders do not depend on the condition of one kind of 
animal Fibres, the Nerves, as is by some supposed, but 
that when there is general internal disease then the nerves 
suffer, as also in small topical disorders, from external 

" What is the true cause of Elasticity in general, or that 
of animal fibres and Nerves in particular, is, I think, an 
inexplicable problem, unless we admit of a centrifugal 
or ' repelling fluid.' Even the true nature and cause of 
Cohesion and continuity itself was uncertain until of late. 
.... Sir Isaac Newton has shown the analogy of bodies 
flying from one another, or a principle of Repulsion to 
negative Quantities, whereby he hints a probable reason 
of the elasticity and the compression of the air. This 
may account for the elasticity or repulsion of all fluids 


and solids. For example, that experiment whereby a 
smooth prism, if rubbed strongly, drives leaf-gold from 
it, and suspends it until its influence is withdrawn ; also 
Hawsbee's experiments with an exhausted glass Sphere or 
Cylinder, when violently turned on an Axis." Here, no 
doubt, Dr. Cheyne refers to the early manifestation of 
static electricity by the experiments in his time. He 
then quotes Sir Isaac Newton as saying that these and 
other like phenomena may be owing to an infinitely 
subtle, elastic Fluid or Spirit, existing in all bodies and 

" The Doctrine of Spirits, to explain the animal func- 
tions and their Diseases, has been so readily and universally 
received from the Days of the Arabian Physicians, and 
before, down to the present times, that scarce one, except 
here and there a Heretick of late, has called this Catholic 
Doctrine in question. Even those who perhaps had cour- 
age to doubt it, or examine the matter, to avoid explana- 
tion have gone implicitly into the common Dialect, which 
is still very convenient. This system at first was but rude 
and imperfect, but having been adopted by Philosophers 
and Mathematicians, as also by Physicians, they have 
brought it to a more consistent and less absurd Theory. 
Borelli gave it great acceptance by receiving it to explain 
Muscular Motion. Dr. Willis gave it all the advantage of 
eloquence and metaphor. Bernoulli has added to it a 
kind of geometry and calculation. And last of all, Mons. 
des Molieres, in the Memoirs de lAcademie Royal for 
1724, has added explanation and comparison to the Nat- 
ural appearances, and removed some common objections. 
Dr. Pemberton, on the contrary, has shown its insuffi- 
ciency in his Preface to Cowper's Book on the Mussels. 

" On this it may be stated that the best Eyes or Senses, 
however assisted, have not been able to discover any Cavity 


in the Nerves ; or in the smallest fillaments into which they 
are divided. Nor by compressing them by ligatures, 
stopping the influx, or by stroaking and milching their 
lengths, are any appearances observed like those in other 
vessels which we know do carry Fluids in them. True, 
by tying the trunks of the greater Nerves the muscle it- 
self will turn Paralytic and motionless, but it will do so 
by stopping the influx of the Blood ; which concludes 
nothing but this, that nerves are necessary towards the 
Action of the muscles, whatever be their mode of help. 

" It is true, the Newtonian yEther theory advances us 
one step further into the Nature and relation of things; 
but here we must necessarily stop, the works of God ap- 
pearing literally inscrutable to perfection. A few of the 
first steps we may go in this infinite progression, but in 
the works of God there is a Ne plus ultra. It might be 
urged that as there is a Mean between the least and the 
greatest, so in substances of all kinds there may be in- 
termediates between pure, immaterial Spirits and gross 
Matter, and that this intermediate material substance 
may constitute the Cement between the Soul and Body, 
and be the instrument or medium of all its actions and 
functions through its material organs. To conclude, if we 
must suppose animal Spirits, we may affirm that they 
cannot be of the Nature of any Fluid we have any notion 
of; that is, from what we see or know. May not the Brain, 
in some respects, be like other Glands which certainly do 
seperate Liquors, seperate a milky liquor to moisten and 
continue the elasticity of the nerves so that they can play 
off the Vibrations, Tremors, or Undulations made in them 
by bodies, or their effluvia, or the Will; and may not these 
Vibrations be propagated through their Lengths by a 
most subtle, Spirituous, and extremely elastic fluid, which 
is the Medium of the Intelligent Principle? 


" Finally, the Solids of the human frame seem to be the 
proper, the only instrument of Life and animation, while 
the Fluids were only intended to preserve them in due 
Plight, Glibness, Warmth, and Tonic Virtue, and to solder 
and otherwise repair the Wounds, Wastes, and Decay. 
But it is in and through the Fluids that all Medicines and 
Medical operations have chief effect." 

The effects of gout on the nervous system and the 
mind were well understood by Sydenham, and others in 
England and France, for he says, " The body is not the 
only sufferer, and the dependent condition of the patient 
is not his worst misfortune. The mind suffers with the 
body, and which suffers most is hard to say. So much 
do the mind and reason loose energy as energy is lost by 
the body, so susceptible and vascillating is the temper, 
such a trouble is the patient to others as well as to him- 
self, that a fit of the gout is a fit of bad temper. To fear, 
anxiety, and other passions, the gouty patient is a con- 
tinual victim ; and when the disease departs the mind 
regains tranquillity." * 

The most enlightened nations of antiquity had not 
made much progress in any of the actual sciences but the 
mathematical. During the Anglo-Saxon period the gen- 
eral mind of Europe turned from their cultivation to 
other pursuits more necessary. The Arabian mind, being 
completely settled in fertile countries and mild climates, 
enjoyed all the leisure that was wanted for the cultivation 
of natural knowledge, and it showed acuteness and ac- 
tivity. Besides the rules of Latin poetry and rhetoric, 
the Anglo-Saxons studied arithmetic and astronomy as 
practical sciences. f That they attained great skill in cal- 
culation the elaborate works of Bede in the 8th century, 

* " Works of Sydenham," vol ii., p. 128. 

t "The Anglo-Saxons," by Sharon Turner, p. 438. 


and time of Alfred and Charlemagne, abundantly testify; 
while they had but little of experimental knowledge. 
They had a direct and just mode of thinking, though 
knowledge was imperfect. Although to teach that 
thunder and lightning were caused by the collisions of 
the clouds, and that earthquakes were the effects of 
winds rushing through the spongy caverns of the earth, 
were erroneous deductions, yet they were light itself 
compared with the superstitions which other nations then 
had and have attached to these phenomena. 

Among the disorders which afflicted the early Anglo- 
Saxons we find scrofula, the gout, or foot-ail, fevers, 
paralysis, hemiplegia, ague, dysentery, consumption or 
lung-ail, convulsions, madness, blindness, diseased head, 
and the head-ache. If we can judge from their numerous 
charms against specific affections, the catalogue of disor- 
ders must be extended. Nations in every age and clime 
have considered diseases to be the inflictions of evil be- 
ings whose power exceeded that of man ; then adapt- 
ing their practice .to their theory they attacked spells 
by spells. They opposed charms and exorcisms to what 
they believed to be the work of demoniacal incantations. 
The Anglo-Saxons had this same superstition, for their 
pagan ancestors had the same views and applied these 
same remedies. Hence we find in their MSS. a great 
variety of incantations and exorcisms against the disor- 
ders that distressed them. 

In time, when some of their stronger intellects had at- 
tained to discredit these superstitions, and especially after 
Christianity opened to them a new train of associations, 
this system of diseases originating from evil spirits, and 
of their being curable by magical art or phrases, received 
a fatal blow. It began to decline before they were en- 
lightened by any just medical knowledge, and the conse- 


quence was that they had nothing to substitute in the 
stead of charms but the fancies and the pretended ex- 
perience of those who arrogated knowledge on the sub- 
ject. Before men began to take up medicine as a pro- 
fession, the domestic practice of it would of course fall 
on females, who, in every stage of society, assume the 
task of nursing the sick, and of these the aged, as the 
most experienced, would be preferred. 

" But the Anglo-Saxons, as early as the seventeenth 
century, had men who made the science of medicine a 
study and who practised it as a profession. It is probable 
that they owed this valuable improvement to the Chris- 
tian clergy, who not only introduced books from Rome, 
but who, in almost every monastery, had one brother who 
was consulted as the physician of the place. We find 
physicians frequently mentioned in Bede, and among the 
letters of Boniface there is one from an Anglo-Saxon, 
desiring some books de mcdcinalifais. He says they had 
plenty of such books in England, but that the foreign 
drawings in them were unknown to his countrymen, and 
difficult to acquire. We have a splendid instance of the 
attention they gave to medical knowledge in the treatise 
described by Wanley, which he states to have been 
written about the time of Alfred. The first part of it 
contains eighty-eight remedies against various diseases, 
the second part sixty-seven more, and in the third part 
are seventy-six. Venesection was in use, but it was held 
to be dangerous to bleed when the light of the moon and 
the tides were on the increase." 

1 With us ther was a doctur of phisike, 
In all this world ne was ther non him like, 
To speke of phisike, and of surgerie : 
For he was grounded in astronomie. 


He kept his patient a ful gret del 
In houres by his magike natural. 
Wei coude he fortunen the ascendent 
Of his images for his patient. 

He knew the cause of every maladie, 
Were it cold, or hote, or moist, or drie, 
And wher engendered, and of what humor. 
He was a veray partite practisour. 

Ful redy hadde he his apothecaries 
To send him dragges, and his lettuaries ; 
Wei knew he the old Esculapius, 
And Dioscorides, and eke Rufus ; 
Old Hippocras, Hali, and Gallien ; 
Serapion, Rasis, and Avicin. 

Of his diete measurable was he 
For it was of no superfluitee, 
But of gret nourishing, and digestible. 
In sanguin and in perse he clad was alle 
Lined with taffata, and with sendalle, 
And yet he was esy of dispence ; 
He kept that he wan in the pestilence. 
Fcr gold in phisike is a cordial ; 
Therefore he loved gold in special." 

Chaucer, in " Canterbury Tales." 

The Spleen and the Vapors. 

"If the Natives of this Island, either from their pecu- 
liar constitution, or the air they breathe, or the immod- 
erate quantity of Flesh Meat they eat, or the Malt 
Liquors they drink, or from any secret cause, are more 
disposed to Coughs, Catarrh, and Consumption than the 
neighboring Nations, they are also no less obnoxious to 
Hypochondriacal and Hysterical affections, vulgarly 
called the Spleen and Vapours, in a very superior degree.* 

* "The Spleen," by Sir Richard Blackmore, Kt., M.D., F.R.C.S., in 
London. Printed by J. Pemberton, at the Buck and Sun, Fleet Street, 1725. 



And of all the Chronical Distempers that afflict the Body 
or disturb the Mind, these two, Consumption and the 
Spleen, are in this Kingdom the most ripe and prevalent, 
and either directly by their own power or indirectly by 
inducing other Diseases, make the greatest havock of the 
health and destruction of the People. I will now show 
the Nature, Causes, and Symptoms of the Spleen and 
Vapours, and set forth the method and medicines which, 
in my judgment, are the most effectual for the Relief of 
these afflicted persons. 

" If a Phthisis is justly called by Foreigners 'Tabes 
Angelica,' or the English Consumption, because it is 
most predominant, and in a manner peculiar to this coun- 
try, I am well assured there is no less reason to give to 
this Distemper the appellation of the English Spleen. 

" After Aristotle's ill-immagined System as it relates to 
medicine, supported neither by Reason nor Experience, 
had the good fortune to become the medical Philosophy 
in fashion, the physicians generally gave into the Doc- 
trine of this School, and formed their notions of diseases 
and their cure in conformity to the Peripatetick princi- 
ples, which, by a swift growth, acquired great power and 
Authority ; then these errors being admitted into the 
^Esculapian colleges, and mingling with their concep- 
tions, corrupted the simplicity of the art of Physic. At 
last a great revolution happened in the Commonwealth 
of Learning, when the authority of Aristotle, who had 
held an Empire of vast extent and long duration over 
the Schools and Colleges, began to decline and go out of 
credit. It is indeed wonderful that an Hypothesis of 
Philosophy should continue so long in great repute that 
had mainly immaginary foundations to rest upon. Now, 
a generous Principle began to assert its Rights to the 
Free exercise of reason, upon an impartial examination 


of things, and to throw off the Yoke of Servitude and 
Aristotelian bigotry. As soon after, when the colleges 
that were defended by the adherents of this philosopher 
had revolted and rebelled against the so-called Prince of 
Science, the greatest Part of the heads of this Defection 
restored the ' Atomic' or Corpuscular Doctrine, and then 
the practising Physicians turned about with the times, 
espoused this hypothesis, and framed their notions ac- 

" Carolus Piso, a French doctor of much reputation, 
endeavored to revise the doctrine of Anaxamenes, one of 
the first masters of the Ionic school in Greece, who taught 
that Water was the fertile Parent of all compound Bod- 
ies ; while others of equal Fame ascribed their produc- 
tion to Air, or Earth, or Fire ; for each Philosopher had 
his favorite Element on which to confer the Honor of 
being the sole principle that constituted all the varieties 
of corporeal Beings. It is true this idea is carried too 
far; but if Piso had confined his notions to the vitiated 
conditions of the fluids of the human body, as obstructing 
the minute vessels by impurities and concretions, and 
so causing great distempers, his hypothesis might have 
been justifiable." 

" It is reasonable to believe that the sad Distempers that 
affect the Head, the System of Nerves, and the animal 
Spirits, all proceede from depraved serous streams that ir- 
ritate and provoke the nervous fibres, and drive the spirits 
into Disorder and confusion, as will appear before we are 
done. All kinds of Fevers take their rise from the Nerves, 
since they all make their first insult and impression on 
those parts, as appear by the Rigors, Shiverings, and con- 
vulsions, twitchings and tremblings, that introduce all 
kinds of acute Diseases, whether putrid or inflammatory ; 
and when the matter of the Distemper is discharged from 


the Nerves and is received into the Blood the nervous 
symptoms disappear, and are succeeded by a boiling Heat 
in the blood, and usually a great thirst. Now it is certain 
that Hypochondriacal and Hysterical patients very often 
suffer the same symptoms, and so much resemble these 
other diseases that at first they are not easily distin- 

" I believe that the Serum, which waters the Traces of 
the Brain, and passes through the Medulla Spinalis, as 
also the minute tracts of the Nerves, is not simple un- 
mixed elemental water, but such as contains the gener- 
ous and active principle of refined Sulphor, Spirits, and 
voltile Salts, separated from the Blood by the ministry of 
the glands or the fine pores of the Brain, and then becomes 
the true cause of most Maladies. Since some nervous Dis- 
tempers have gone rather by the name of the Spleen from 
the primitive Ages of physick to this time, one would 
think some defect of this organ was the actual cause of it. 
To settle this question, and find out the office of the 
spleen, physicians and anatomists of all ages and in all 
Nations have laboured. I myself have opened the side 
of a dog and torn off with my fingers the Spleen from its 
attachment, and closed up the wound, and the dog lived 
well for over a year certainly, and probably much longer. 

" Nothing was ever so crudely or ill imagined as the 
Hypothesis of the ancients, which has likewise been 
adopted by a great part of modern Physicians, concern- 
ing the Nature of these diseases called the Spleen and 
the Vapours, which I shall show are simply one and 
the same thing under different Denominations. As the 
primitive Practicioners ascribed Hysterical passions to 
noxious fumes and vapours ascending, I know not how, 
from the womb, so they fancied that Hypocondriacal af- 
fections have their rise from the dark steams and windy 


exhalations from the Spleen. Now the fact is, the inte- 
gral parts of this organ are not composed of coagulated 
Blood, as the Ancients, for want of correct ideas, rashly 
affirmed ; but the Spleen is a system of membranous 
fibres, Nerves, and Blood-vessels, so closely connected that 
they leave only little cells and narrow ways, but no Cavity, 
to be the receptacle of any recrementicious Liquors or 
gasses supposed to be separated by occult Strainers from 
the bile or Blood. Some have supposed its office to be 
that of another liver, to convert a portion of the chyle into 
blood ; others assert that the use of the Spleen is to con- 
vey a fomenting spirit or austere juice into the stomach 
and quicken the appetite ; while others teach that its aus- 
tere liquor or leaven is to quicken and enliven the ani- 
mal Spirits inhabiting the nerves. 

" Malphigius, an accurate searcher into Nature, has enu- 
merated these various suppositions and confuted them 
by Anatomical observations, yet he acknowledges he can- 
not tell what the office of the Spleen is. But I shall en- 
ter at once upon the Nature of Nervous affections, which 
in my judgment arise from the irregular and disturbed 
Motions of the Spirits and the irritable Disposition of 
the Nerves ; and this was the opinion of Dr. Sydenham 
and Dr. Willis, and now I imagine very generally ob- 
tains. Upon this hypothesis the anomalous and inordi- 
nate symptoms may be accounted for which cannot by 
any other way of thinking be effectually unfolded. It 
was an odd fancy to consider this bowel the cistern of the 
grosser Lees and the sediments of the Blood, and at the 
same time to suppose it to be the spring of pleasant 
humours and alacrity — Splcn rider e facit, that is, the 
fountain of both Mirth and Melancholy; at one time to 
laugh, at another to cry. 

" Nor are the extravagant symptoms of this dire dis- 


ease to be accounted for by the Hypothesis of Dr. High- 
more and others, who suppose that it is caused by the 
crudities and depraved juices in the Stomach, with an 
extra distention ; or, on the other hand, a relaxed tone of 
the Stomach and defective digestion ; which supposition 
the learned Dr. Willis has abundantly confuted. Nor is 
Velthusius more successful in his attempt to explain the 
Cause of this Distemper in his book, de Firmentatione. 

" Symptoms of the Spleen. 

" Hypocondriacal men are of a pale, almost livid or 
saturnine complexion, or a dark, suspicious, and severe 
aspect ; nor unlike this is their temperament and disposi- 
tion, such persons being very scrupulous, touchy, and 
hard to please. Their Pulse is usually slow and weak, and 
below the standard of Nature in other men, and often too 
swift, like that in a hectick fever. As to their urine, there 
is seldom any remarkable appearance that distinguishes it 
from that of others in health, except this, that it is vari- 
able, thin, pale, and insipid, flowing sometimes in a profuse 
quantity in a Fit of the Spleen, like that from a Diabetis ; 
or as if increased by drinking Wine or tea in an inordinate 
Degree ; or like that of a woman labouring under hys- 
teric passions, called the vapours ; or like other persons 
when terrified or fearing danger. 

" The very Seeds of this Distemper, like those of Con- 
sumption, Lunacy, or Scrofula, are often interwoven in 
the constitution, where they lie concealed till some active 
ferment unfolds them, and they gradually discharge from 
the Blood and exert their force on the nerves ; for this 
Protius, this Posture-Disease can assume the shape, fig- 
ure, and part of any and many diseases, and when it de- 
velops, the Spleen, which before was of a red, florid colour, 


becomes now dark and livid. It puts forth a long train 
of complaints and a sad variety of sufferings, of which 
are these : a morbid Stomach and poor digestion, with an 
eager desire to eat, and some time after with great oppres- 
sions and grievous pains, attended with Storms of wind 
in this recepticle and the parts below, where seem a, 
dark and troubled Region of animal Meteors and exhala- 
tions, where opposite steams and rarefied juices contend 
for Dominion, and so maintain continual War. These 
ferments and flatulent effluvia, while they infest the cav- 
ity of the stomach and Colon, to the great suffering of 
the patient, strive and struggle for vent, often with great 
noise, like Vapours and Reeks imprisoned underground 
in caverns ; hence those belchings and loud eructations, 
which are the notorious symptoms of this Distemper. 
Likewise there is windy effluvia assembled in parts ad- 
jacent to the stomach and colon, which murmur, croak, 
and grumble ever, and impatient of confinement, with 
loud noise roll through the hollow regions in the belly 
and in the sides, beneath the short ribs, with killing pains 
from their acrimony and distention. Some of these 
sufferers cannot sleep, or sleep in great Disorder, while 
their heads are confused ; no bright thoughts come to 
them ; they lie dejected and desponding, for there is no 
more sleep until daylight, and then they wish to keep 
their bed. . . . 

"When we review the symptoms of Hysterical affec- 
tions, numerous in phase as they are, we shall soon con- 
clude that there is no great difference between them and 
the Spleen in the men ; though it has been supposed that 
in females it originates in the disordered Matrix, which 
was supposed to send up Clouds of Fumes and dark va- 
pours through the bowels into the thorax, heart case, 
throat, and the brain. 


" The chief Symptoms of Hysteria, which appears 
mostly in women, are noisy Convulsions and Workings 
in the Intestines, Cholic pains, Nausea, loss of apetite, and 
depraved digestion, and noxious Ejections of green, sower, 
bitter, and other Humours; fits of short and difficult 
Breathing, Palpitation of the Heart, Faintings, Suffoca- 
tion, Strangling in the Throat, Giddiness, Swimming of 
the head, dimness of sight, violent Headache, or profuse 
Laughter, and on a sudden an immoderate eruption of 
Tears, Inconstancy, Timidity, Irresolution, frequent and 
sudden change of Temper ; in short, all the train of symp- 
toms parallel with those of the Spleen. In this only they 
seem to differ, that in the Female Sex they are manifested 
in a higher degree. For in Hysteric Fits, which often 
approach near the Epileptic, the sufferer is thrown into 
violent Convulsions, the eyes are distorted, the face is dis- 
figured, the limbs are thrown about in involuntary aban- 
don, the thorax is oppressed, Reason and Perception are 
suspended, she sometimes falling to the ground, beats 
her breast, sets her teeth, bites her tongue, and struggles 
with such extraordinary Force that she is scarcely re- 
strained by all about her. But the true cause of all this 
in the Fair Sex is partly from the constitution of their 
Spirits and partly from the delicacy of their nerves. 

" This disease, then, called Vapours or hysteric affec- 
tions in Women and the Spleen in Men, I take to be the 
same malady, and not different species, and is what neither 
Sex is pleased to own. A physician cannot ordinarily 
make his Court worse than by suggesting to such patients 
the true nature and Name of their disorders. Therefore 
they are to be considered and treated considerately. 
.... Cholic, Melancholy, and Palsy are diseases that 
have great relation to Hysteria and Hypocondria. What 
is commonly called a Hemiplegia, or a Paraplegia, or a 


dead Palsy, that follows a fit, seems rather a variety of 
Apoplexy than distinct diseases. It is evident that in 
great Apoplexy the animal Spirits inhabeting the Brain 
are the primary Subjects of that Disease, which, being op- 
pressed, imprisoned, and confined to the Head by the 
sudden irruption and assault of some stupefying matter, 
can no longer take their Flight from the Brain, nor keep 
up their intercourse with the distant organs of motion. 
It often happens, the noxious serum that benumbs and 
muffles the Spirits is not malignant enough to overwhelm 
the brain, only partially ; then as a poisonous steam it 
passes swiftly through the Paths and Traces there, then, 
entering into the orifices of the nerves, stifles with its bad 
influence the Spirits that reside in them, whose Motion 
being thus intercepted, a Palsy follows in all the Muscles 
to which those Nerves used to Send Messages. There 
are other palsies, as that produced by the displacing of 
some of the lower vertebrae of the back in Children, 
when from the distortion of the joint the bone presses 
upon the Medulla Spinalis, or the Orifice of the Nerves 
issuing thence, by which the influx or irradiation of the 
Spirits is cut off, and the lower limbs grow feeble, wither, 
and shrink away ; so that it appears also that the Nerves 
have much to do with nutrition. . . . 

" In some of the cases of Apoplexy the narcotic, obnox- 
ious shade passes through only one lobe of the brain, so oc- 
casions only a partial eclipse, and takes off the motive fac- 
ulty of one side only, and then the eye of that side is weak- 
ened, the face is flaccid, the mouth is drawn to the opposite 
side, the tongue is partly benumbed and unable to form 
distinct words. In some of these cases, when the mind 
directs and intends one word the patient, by an involun- 
tary error, chuses another word, and at once he himself 
is conscious that he speaks another thing from that which 



he designed, which seems to arise from this : that the 
traces of the nerves in the tongue being defaced, or closed 
up, the Spirits that do duty to that organ, though directed 
to one part, finding those avenues shut up, are compelled 
to go into those that are not obstructed." Here is an 
account of a case now known as aphasia, from a lesion 
of the left fourth lobe of the brain. Aphasia is the mis- 
calling of words ; aphonia is loss of voice. 

" The second sort of palsy, which depends not upon 
peccant matter exploded and transmitted from the brain, 
but arises from internal or external causes, thus chiefly 
affecting the muscle fibres, while the sensitive faculty is 
not much injured. In some it affects only the legs, or 
the hand or arm ; in some only the muscles of the neck 
and hands, whence they shall tremble or shake for many 
months or years without further decay" — agitans, or 
shaking palsy. 

" Now the universal Rise and Spring of all the internal 
Causes of this Distemper, the Spleen or Vapours, may be 
justly supposed to be the faulty disposition or condition 
of the glandulous strainers in the Stomach, Intestines, 
Pancreas, and Mesentary; that is, when the convulsive 
Disorder begins in the inferior and rises to the upper 
Parts of the body ; and the like Error and defect is in the 
brain when Hypocondriacal or Hysterical Fits begin there, 
as they often do, occasioned by noxious Juices admitted 
into its cells and vacuities, which a regular conformation 
or function of its minute Pores would have kept back.* 

"The reason why men of a Splenetick Temperament 
excel their neighbors in cogitation and all intellectual 
endowments is this, that when the Juices, when strained 
by the glands from the Nerves and Lymphatick canals, 
and are deposited in the Brain, Stomach, Spleen, Pancreas, 

* Sir R. Blackmore on "The Spleen and Vapours," p. 92. 


or any other Receptacle provided by nature in the struct- 
ure of the economy, retain a moderate degree of Acidity 
and acrimony, they only stimulate, exalt, and expand the 
Spirits to such a just degree as enables them to make their 
reciprocal Motions with a due velocity, in obedience to 
the impulse of the Mind, as well as when employed in vol- 
untary vital Offices ; and likewise to serve as more refined 
instruments of the Understanding by a bright and lively 
Imagination in all its lighter operations, which by this 
means are stocked with a greater plenty of clear, surpris- 
ing, and beautiful Ideas than are produced in persons of 
a different Constitution. 

" But if these Juices contained in any bowel degen- 
erate and become unduly acid, sharp, pungent, and aus- 
tere, then they urge and vellicate the Nerves so much, 
and irritate and scatter the Spirits in such a violent man- 
ner, that the whole intellectual and animal Administra- 
tion is violated and disturbed, while the Mind is deprived 
of proper instruments for its operations, and the Body is 
filled with Pains, Spasms, or Convulsive Disorders, as be- 
fore has been explained. 

" The learned Dr. Willis has formed a Theory on this 
subject, in part alike and in part different from that I 
have laid down, by which he accounts for all these ef- 
fects by the good or bad disposition of a Leaven or 
ferment which he places in the Spleen ; and this he sup- 
poses, while it remains in a regular state, is a great assist- 
ant and Refiner of the animal Spirits, but when it is 
perverted, and becomes too sowre and austere, he makes 
it the chief, if not the sole Cause of Hypocondriacal symp- 
toms. But I am so far from confining them to the 
Spleen, that I believe all other Organs are in their turn as 
much concerned, and some more, as I have before ex- 
plained. It must also be acknowledged that, in many 


cases this Distemper is ingrain and coeval with the Em- 
bryo and interwoven and complicated with the very Prin- 
ciples of the life." 

" In speaking of medical improvement, I reccon the 
moderns, who do not entirely follow the old, must in real- 
ity be accounted the Fathers, and the Ancients the nov- 
ices ; for in Two Thousand Years the medical art should 
be brought to greater ripeness : which, however, I con- 
ceive has not been much effected till the Two last centuries. 
I would pay due regard to the Physicians of the first ages, 
as historians, or credible recorders of matters of fact, es- 
pecially of their own Times ; as to what internal Medi- 
cines, and what external Applications and manual Opera- 
tions they made use of ; as also what Opinions of Diseases 
and what Methods of Cure obtained in their times. " . . . 

" Great numbers of the ancients being persuaded that 
the Milt or Spleen was not only superfluous but detrimen- 
tal and mischievous, thought it very desirable that their 
patients should be freed from such a noxious thing, and 
applied their Industry through the ages to find out effect- 
ual ways and Means to extirpate or Destroy it ; and this 
they very diligently attempted by internal Medicines, 
and external Applications, and manual Operations. To 
prove that they had the custom of cutting out the 
Spleen from human beings, I cite Seranus Sammonicus, 
who says, in regard to the Spleen. 

" ' tumidus nocet, or risum addit ineptum. 

Dicitur exfectus faciles atiferre cachinnos' 

'• In the Kingdom of Persia, so many centuries ago as 
the Reign of Ahasuerus, the same with Artaxerxes, and 
Longimanus, the learned Doctor Prideaux makes us be- 
lieve it was the custom to evisect, or extract by manual 
operation, the Milt or Spleen from horses and mares that 


were kept to carry the King's Despatches and Orders to 
distant provinces of his Empire, to give them more dili- 
gence and swifter feet. Messengers employed by the 
Greeks for like use were called Letter Carriers by succes- 
sion, or Couriers, who gave up their packets at certain 
stations to others ready to receive them, and so on to 
destination. And because they had authority to take 
from the owners by compulsion what Horses soever they 
wanted, they were called Astandae and Angari. The 
first use of Couriers or Post-horses in Persia is attributed 
by Xenophon to Cyrus. 

" Now the Persians believing that the Spleen was an 
incumbrance on coursers in their running, they made it a 
practice to rid these horses of this clog. To prove this 
I cite the Chaldee Paraphrase upon Esther, chap, viii., v. 
10,* the original rendered by the learned Bochart first into 
Latin, then into English, thus: He sent these letters 
by the hand of the Couriers running upon Coursers, and 
riding naked upon Post-horses and Mares, out of which 
the Milt or Spleen had been taken, and part of the Plant 
of their Feet ; i.e., the Frogs were pared away." 

" But there is another authority that this was a cus- 
tom among the Jews themselves, long before the Baby- 
lonish Captivity, and that is from what is said in the Ge- 
mara, cited likewise by Bochart, concerning the fifty 
coursers that (i Kings i., 5.) Adonijah is said to have pro- 
vided to run before him ; from all these the Spleen was 
taken out, and the soles or frogs of their feet were 

" Nor is it surprising that the Excretion of the Milt 
should have been thought a beneficial consequence in 
some respects, for from the same authorities we see that 
the mutilation of boys (slaves) promotes the Sweetness, 

•Bochart, lib. ii., c. ii., of his " Hierozoicon" ; Pliny, lib. xi., c. 37. 



Strength, and Compass of their voices, and prevents such 
alterations of them that happens to others at their 
puberty. Nor is this the only emolument acquired by 
this excision, for even the faculties of the Mind are after 
the operation preserved clearer, and seem to be enlarged 
and improved. For it is well known that the Kings of 
the East paid the greatest respect to their Eunuchs, not 
only because they might safely be intrusted with the 
custody of their Seraglios, but likewise because of their 
Capability and Wisdom; and therefore, for their penetra- 
tion and great abilities in the art of government, they 
were often set at the Head of public affairs as first Minis- 
ters of State, and perhaps had the Chief Administration 
of the Empire, or were the principal Officers and favorites 
at court. We read of many such cases in profane and 
sacred history." 

" Turnebus says:* 'The Ancients evidently believed 
the Spleen was rather noxious than useful, and so for the 
most part it is ; especially when it swells, and sometimes 
seems willing to possess the place of other Bowels, and 
to invade the Region of the Heart.' ' For this inconven- 
ience, and others more grievous, they attempted to cut it 
away, either by Medicaments called Wasters, or Consum- 
ers of the Spleen, so by Degrees to destroy it, or to burn it 
out by a red-hot iron ; or lastly, to take it out wholly 
from the Body by excision.' Of this class of Philosophers 
and Physicians was the celebrated Erasistratus, a near de- 
scendant of Aristotle by his daughter, and contemporary 
with Theophras.tus, who were promoters of this doctrine. 

" P. vEgineta relates the precise manner of performing 
this Operation. \ That is, ' let the Skin incumbent on 
the Spleen, already raised by a Hook, be quite burnt 

* Turnebus, lib. vii., p. 15, cited by Martinius in voce Lien, 
t P. ^Egineta, lib. iii., c. 18. 


through by an oblong red-hot iron, so that two crusts or 
Escars may be made by one impression only, and in the 
same wound they burnt the Spleen underneath.' In the 
same chapter he says that Marcellus did indeed use a dif- 
ferent way of burning the Spleen in human Bodies, and 
tells how their two methods differed. By which it ap- 
pears that this Inustion, or burning of the Spleen, was 
practised by more than one method in his Time, or that 
different operators proceeded by a different manner. 
^Etius, who lived near the time of P. ^Egineta, after 
enumerating a long list of inward medicines, says : * ' If 
these all prove fruitless, then recourse must be had to the 
Protection of Burning ; ' and after prescribing the pre- 
paratory Bleeding, and evacuants by purging, he adds, 
' If the whole body be not first prepared for the opera- 
tion, malignant ulcers have often, or commonly, happen- 
ed from the crusts or Escars.' We see also that Tral- 
lianus alludes to the same when he says.f ' You know 
that I cured a Soldier, who, when he came to me, had a 
sore in the region of the Spleen, burnt out with a red-hot 
Iron, whom I purged for two or three days with medi- 
cines by the mouth, and then used great care in prescrib- 
ing all proper Remedies.' On the contrary, Absurtus 
and Ccelius Aurelianus declare their disbelief of this old 
practice ; that is, they say the animals and men could 
not survive the operation. That is their opinion. 
Many eminent Surgeons did not believe it possible to 
restore an intestine lapsed into the Scrotum by Incision, 
nor that it is possible to cut for the stone above the Os 
Pubis, as now performed, and is allowed to be as practi- 
cable as they are useful. 

" Again, those Ancient Physicians who did not try to 

* jEtius, tet. iii. t Trallianus, lib. viii. 


cure the Spleen by Excision or Inustion, endeavored by 
other external and internal remedies to waste and destroy 
its very substance. I request the reader to observe here 
that I do not state or think that these supposed power- 
ful Medicines given for this purpose were ever really en- 
dowed with such actual virtue. But if I prove they be- 
lieved the Spleen might and ought to be consumed away 
it is sufficient to prove this old doctrine. . . . 

" Ccelius Rhodigenus asserts that near Cortyna in Crete 
the cattle have no apparent Spleen, which the Physicians 
inquired into most strictly, and found a plant growing 
there, by feeding upon which the Cattle diminished their 
Spleen; when they invented a Medicine for the cure of 
their Splenitick patients. This plant is the Scolopendria 
or Asplenium. Dioscorides affirms that this plant wears 
away and finally destroys the Spleen. This author, who, 
according to Suidas, lived with Cleopatra in Mark An- 
tony's Time, speaking of this herb, says : ' The leaves have 
a Virtue, if boiled in vinegar and drank for forty days, to 
consume the Spleen.' He likewise made a cataplasm 
of these leaves, to be applied to the region of the Spleen. 
Pliny says the same thing, so does Ccelius of Asplenium. 
Galen ascribes the same power to Spleenwort, or milt- 
waste, in his sixth book de Simple Medica. Celeus re- 
peats the same, with Dioscorides. Myrepsus calls Asple- 
nium or Scolopendria, Milt-waste, the same as our Eng- 
lish word Spleenwort and Fingerfern. Myrepsus also pre- 
scribed his Spleen-cutting Antidote, which he called 
Antidotus Splenotorum, having no less than sixty differ- 
ent ingredients, consisting of all the enemies of the spleen 
that he ever heard of." 

"About the Eighth Century a great revolution took 
place in the Commonwealth of Learning ; for the last 
blow being given to the Roman Greatness and dominion 



in the reighn of Augustulus, after it had been long weak- 
ened by the Revolt of the Provinces in the East and 
the violent irruptions of northern Nations into Italy 
and the Provinces of the west,* Science and polite Lit- 
erature forsook Greece and Rome, for Empire and 
Learning rise and fall together, and made their Court 
to the new-comers and conquerors, the Saracenes and 
Arabs. In the mean time a dark Night of barbaric 
Ignorance, introduced by barbarous Arms, overcast all 
the Nations of Europe, while the schools of Philosophy 
were laid waste and Desolate ; nor was the voice of in- 
struction heard in the cities: then is it a wonder that 
the Colleges of Physic should be likewise shut up and 
abandoned? Whence, for the space of Four or Five of 
those Dark Centuries, this art lay rude and uncultivated, 
except what was acquired anew from the Arabians, 
who were little more than Commentators on Hippocrates 
and the Greeks, till Learning began again to break 
through those clouds and throw off the almost total 
eclipse in which it had been involved for so many 
Hundred Years. The first restorers of learning were 
Frifingensis and Reuclin in Germany ; Angelus Politi- 
anus, Hermolaus, Barbarus, Poggius Florentinus, and 
the celebrated Laurentius de Medici, the great patron 
of learning and learned men, and the Father of Pope 
Leo the Tenth, who himself was a great promoter of 
letters, and many others who at great trouble and ex- 
pense procured Copies of the Ancients, and by incredi- 
ble perseverance dispelled the Night of Nations. These 
worthies called back from a long exile the Arts and 
Sciences into Europe." 

" It is true, however, that the Art of Medicine was 
not so entirely extinguished, but that about the Year 
* " The Spleen," by Sir R. Blackmore, M.D., chap, iv., p. 144. 


Eleven to Twelve Hundred two of the later Greek Phy- 
sicians, Actuarious and Nicholaus Myrepsus, flourished, 
and in some degree kept up the repute of Physic, at 
least preserved it from utter extinction. But after the 
art of medicine had been at a full stop, after the fall of 
the Roman monarchy, its growth having been checked 
and stinted by some unaccountable and fatal incidents 
until the Sixteenth Century and some after, when it and 
Philosophy revived, and Physicians abounded in all Na- 
tions and Countries. But though Physicians were mul- 
tiplied and Writers were endless, yet, 'till the last cent- 
ury, the noble Art received but little true increase or 

" About those times the Enquirers into Nature, dis- 
cerning the vanity of the System of Aristotal, entered 
upon a rational way of investigation, and laying by that 
old empty Scheme, applied themselves with diligence to 
experimental Philosophy. The medical men who always 
fell into the ranks of the prevailing notions of the Phi- 
losophers of the times deserted now the unprofitable 
Sect of Methodists, who relied upon elaborate Com- 
pounds of plants and drugs more than on the knowl- 
edge of disease and Nature. Instead of improving the 
healing Art by repeated experiments, and finding out the 
real value and Virtue of simple medicines, vainly imag- 
ined to advance it by an immense luxury of elegant 
formulae, and huddled mixtures of many ingredients. 
That is, they tried the Empirical way of Hippocrates 
and the physicians of the long line from the earlier ages. 
So, instead of going forward they were always going 
backward, and retarding the progress of medicine until 
the last century or so, since which it has advanced more 
than for Two Thousand Years before." 




" Now the question comes, How shall we cure nervous 
disorders? From what has been explained in the former 
parts of this work concerning the Sources and Causes of 
Chronical and Nervous Disorders, there will arise Three 
Indications (in the Cure of all Acute and all chronical 
Nervous Distempers) from the three principal Causes, 
concurring towards their production.* 

" The First Intention in treatment is that which has 
the greatest influence on all the rest, and will often, in 
the milder cases, render the other two less needed, or 
sometimes even unnecessary. The first intention, I say, 
will be to thin, dilute, and sweten the whole mass of the 
fluids, to destroy their Viscidity or glewyness, to open 
the Obstructions thereby generated, to make the Circula- 
tion full and free, and the Perspiration and other Secre- 
tions flow in their due proportions. This, if fully ob- 
tained, lays the foundation of all the rest of the Cure, 
and will even, during that time, take off the violence of 
the symptoms and make their intervals greater. 

" The Second Intention will be to divide, break, and 
dissolve the saline, acrid, and hard Concretions generated 
in the small vessels, and to destroy all sharpness and Ac- 
rimony lodged in the Habit, and so make the juices soft, 
sweet, and balsamick. This will be more readily effected 
if the first intention has been successfully persued, for it 
* " Nervous Diseases," by G. Cheyne, lib. 3, part ii., p. 112, sixth edition. 


is the obstructions in the small vessels that stagnate the 
juices and corrupt and putrefy the fluids, and by giving 
time and occasion for the smaller saline particles to ac- 
cumulate and exert their innate quality of attraction and 
chrystallization, and so unite in great clusters or concre- 
tions ; so when the Blood is made thin and fluid, these 
particles are kept dissolved and further apart until they 
are thrown out of the system. 

" The Third Intention in order is to restore the Tone 
and elastick force, to crisp, wind up, and contract the Fi- 
bres of the whole System, which I fear is the most diffi- 
cult to complete. If this could be always and totally ef- 
fected the Cure would be a true Rejuvenation, and no one 
need grow Old or die. However, there are not wanting 
means to effect this intention, at least in some degree, if 
judiciously chosen for suitable persons. 

" These are the Three General Intentions to be persued 
in the treatment of, and towards the total and perfect 
Cure of, Fevers or Nervous Disorders of whatever Sort 
or Kind ; nor are they ever to be confounded or blended, 
at least not in the first regular attempts towards a cure. 
For in the first intention we aim to dilute and clear the 
juices of the body, in the second we give active and pon- 
derous medicines to correct the tissues, and in the third 
we use tonics and astringents, which would unavoidably 
interfere with and counteract each other. Therefore 
these Three intentions must be religiously followed out 
separately, and in due order. 

" What the time necessary for each Intention must be 
it is impossible to determine and lay down, for that must 
be according to the violence of symptoms and the ob- 
stinacy of the Distemper. But to give some general idea 
or notion of the time, that which is required for the first 
may be conjectured from the state of the Blood. If the 


Size on tne top of it is much gone, and if the color is, 
and it is easily yielding to any dividing instrument, and 
the proportion of the Serum to the globular part upon 
bleeding (a few ounces only being taken for the trial) be 
such as they are commonly found in well persons, and if 
the Serum be clear or not too tawny, then may it be con- 
cluded that the first Intention has been persued suffi- 
ciently. The second Intention may also be guessed from 
the healing up and cicatrizing of any ulcer or sores, or 
the Cure of any acute Pains or Paroxisms. The third is 
obvious after these two are ascertained, by the strength 
and vigour of the body and the vivacity of the Spirits, and 
the regularity and ease of all the functions which neces- 
sarily follow upon the third and last ' intention ' being fol- 
lowed for a due time and in a proper manner. But that 
every practitioner may more certainly judge of prosecut- 
ing each of the several intentions, I will now give an ac- 
count of the different changes that are brought about in 
the treatment of Chronical Nervous affections. 

" The blood, as it flows in the larger vessels by the orde- 
nary course of the circulation, seems to be a uniform 
mass, much like cow-milk, but when drawn out of these 
Vessels, and left quiet without heat or motion to settle 
in the open air, it seperates into two Parts, one of a more 
glutinous and solid texture, called the Globular, and the 
other of a more thin and fluid nature, called the Serous 
part ; and both these are found in different proportions 
and of different natures, consistance, and color, accord- 
ing to the Disease of the persons in whom they are found. 
I shall only here mention Three of these different states, 
wherein the distinguishing Marks are most evident, 
though there are many intermediate Degrees between 
these ; but these will include them all of every shade. 

"The first is, when the globular part is of a moderate 



cohesion and firmness in a pretty equal proportion to its 
Serum and of a red and scarlet color when exposed a due 
time to the air, and the Serum is about the consistance 
of common water, pretty clear, and almost insipid, or, at 
least, not biting saltish. This I take to be pretty near 
the State of the soundest and best Blood. Secondly, the 
second state of the Blood is when the globular and 
groumous part is in a far greater proportion than the 
Serum, more thick and viscid, having a glew or size on 
its top, of a blueish at first, then afterwards of a whitish 
or tallow color, increasing sometimes to half or more the 
thickness of the whole, the Serum being in a smaller 
quantity, and of a yellowish or tawny cast, sharp, acrid, 
and saltish taste. This seems to be of a middling nature 
(I speak not here of that accidental size generated by the 
Nitre of the air, as in catching a Cold, which evanishes in 
a few days by proper management), between the best and 
the worst, and is common in Pleurisies, Rheumatisms, 
etc. Thirdly, the last state of the Blood I shall here 
speak of is where the fibrous or globular part is scarce 
any at all, while the Serum is above ten or more times 
the quantity of it ; when the globular part swims like 
an Island amidst the ocean, the serum being sharp, salt- 
ish, and urinous to the highest degree in its taste. This 
I take to be the worst state of the Blood, like those in 
confirmed Consumption or Dropsy, and other mortal Dis- 
tempers. But in all these Three states of the Blood the 
Sharpness, Heat, and Acrimony may arise to almost an 
equal degree, even to that of the worst state, of which 
we have no means of judging but by the Taste, which is 
gross and inaccurate, and therefore we must be content 
with this probebility. 

" The first of these is commonly called good Blood ; the 
second, rich Blood ; the third, poor Blood. But to apply 


this more particularly to the Diseases I am now treating 
of: In all Nervous disorders produced by excesses, espe- 
cially after the meridian of life, the Blood is generally sizy 
and viscid, like that of the second state just described. 
I have not for these many years let Blood of any one (but 
an ounce or two to make observation on, of which I have 
had innumerable instances) who being subject to Nervous 
Distempers of some sort, as Lowness, Vapours, or Melan- 
choly, and have not had it sizy, rheumatic, and viscid, 
with a sharp-tasting, yellow serum, in some more or less 
degree. I have always observed the Blood of the youth- 
ful, and those under the meridian of life who were sub- 
ject to violent Nervous disorders, to be hot, acrid, and 
sharp-tasted, though the colour and consistance might be 
tolerably good, but found it was occasioned by sipping 
too much of wines or distilled liquors. But if the viscid- 
ity of the juices was produced by over proportion of 
food received into the Habit, the weakness of the solids 
and slownes of the fluids being consequent, obstructions 
must necessarily follow in the vessels and glands, in the 
liver, mesentery, etc., and then stagnant juices putrefy, 
corrupt, turn acrid and corrosive, then crowding on and 
through, tear and injure the solids, from whence arise the 
highest Pains of Nervous Disorders. 

" The Method and Medicine proper for the First Intention. 

" In order to attenuate the Juices, to break the cohe- 
sions in the parts, and to destroy their viscidity, so as to 
let it flow in the smaller vessels with ease, those Medi- 
cines are to be chosen chiefly which either by their na- 
ture are the most active, or by the shape of their particles 
are the most dividing and insinuating, or by their weight 
are endued with the greatest force and Momentum, or 



which from experience are found to be most effectual for 
producing these ends. 

" I must mention here the necessity, before any Course 
of treatment be entered upon, in all acute cases, of pre- 
mising the common and proper general evacuations, as 
Bleeding, Purging, Vomiting, etc., some one or more of 
which will always be found necessary to lessen the quan- 
tity of corrupt Blood and to clear the alimentary tubes. 
Among the chief and principal Medicines are Mercury 
and its preperations ; Calomel, Precipitat per se, Quicksil- 
ver, Silver-water, ^lithops Mineral, Cinnabar of Antimony, 
Bezoar Mineral, Crude Antimony, Bezoardicum Joviale, 
Salts of Tin, Ens Veneris, and the like. Next to these 
are the woods : Guajacum, Sassafrass, Sarsparilla, Aloes 
Lignum, and Nephriticum. In the third order are 
the fixed Salts, as Tartar, Sal Wormwood, Broom, Fern, 

"In giving Calomel, however it may be managed in 
cases of other nature but here, for the cure of Nervous 
troubles, where is supposed weak solids and tender bow- 
els, it always must be necessary to give it in the very 
smallest doses, as an alterative only, and not as an evacu- 
ant. For example, in one, two, or three-grain doses, 
once or twice a day, and thus it will insinuate jnto the 
smallest capillaries and do good. 

" The medicines next to calomel to be used in the first 
intention are ./Eithops Mineral, Antimonietum, Cinnabar, 
but especially the Mercurius Alcalifatus. That which I 
generally prefer for viscid juices in persons subject to 
Nervous disorders, in very low and bad cases, is Cinnabar 
of Antimony. The more robust may bear the ^ithops. 
.... But for the young or the delicate Cinnabar is the 
remedy, for it can be used for a long time. Its effecacy 
in the Epileptick, and in convulsions in children, and in- 


deed in all chronical and nervous distempers, is widely 
known and acknowledged. 

" There is nothing I could more earnestly wish were 
brought into the common practice of Physic than the 
more frequent and general, but cautious, use of the prep- 
erations of Mercury and Antimony in these chronical and 
obstinate cases, especially when given with only a thin, 
cool, and mild diet, so as to answer in this first intention 
towards a total cure. Dr. Charlton, who had the licenc- 
ing of the Quacks in King Charles the Second's Time, 
told on his Death-bed that all the real successful Cures 
performed by the Montebanks of his time were owing to 
the preperations of Mercury and Antimony only. The 
Mercurius Alcalifatus (Quicksilver and Crab's Eyes, 
prepared and rubbed together until the first disappears) 
is an admirable Medicine. Then, when we see Mercury 
boiled in plain Water only, without loosing much estima- 
tible Weight, if this water be taken in small doses and 
for a long time, will produce such sensible effects as I 
am convinced it will, we may easily conceive the value 
of any of its preperations. I would only say, add the 
use of the wild Valerian, so much commended by Fa- 
bius Columna, in all Nervous cases, especially in the 
worst. The tea or powder can be given either with 
Black Hellebore or the Mistletoe. 

" The Medicines proper for the Second Intention. 

" When the first intention has been successfully pur- 
sued, so that the Blood is restored to its due degree of 
Fluidity and mildness, when the Acuteness of the Pains 
and the violence of the Symptoms are lessened by those 
ponderous Remedies, and the Fits and the Paroxisms are 
less severe or frequent, then the Medicines of this Class 


may be employed. Those medicines are to be selected 
here that are of the most active and volatile kind, which 
have a penetrating and searching steam or vapour flowing 
out of them, that can most readily pervade the solids and 
get into the inmost recesses of the Habit, for such seem 
to be the most effectual for this stage of the treatment. 
The fcetid and volatile substances are the chief, and those 
which emit the strongest effluvia, as the volatile Gums 
and Juices, the volatile salts and spirits, the phosphoric, 
and for external use the Saponaceous substances. 

"The principal Medicines of this Tribe are Gum Ammo- 
niacum, Galbanum, Assafcetida, Sagapenum, Myrrh, Gua- 
jacum, Camphire, Castor, Amber, Salts of Hartshorn, Salt 
and Spirits of Human Sculls, Garlick, Hors-radish, and 
the like. But Assafcetida is the first in importance ; the 
pure and unadulterated gum is known, for it shows white 
when first cut through its mass, then on exposure to the 
air turns red or pinkish, which accords to the opinion of 
the Ancients, by whom its Virtues are celebrated with 
praises ; * and for quieting, it certainly still deserves the 
greatest praise. In those complicated cases of Asthmatick 
and other Pulmonic affections, the Ammoniacum, Galba- 
num, and Sagapenum are very effectual. 

"Medicines proper for the Third Intention. 

" When the two former Intentions have been persued 
for a due time with satisfactory success, so that the ur- 
gent symptoms are abated and tolerable ease is ob- 
tained, it will then do to enter upon the third intention ; 
which should bring more comfort, courage, and Spirits to 
go through with it to a complete Cure. For the medi- 
cines here are more grateful to Nature, strengthening 

* Vide Plinii Hist. Nat., lib. xix., cap. 3. 


the digestive organs and making all the functions more 
full and strong, so that Vigour and Cheerfulness flow in 
daily. To perceive this is a most agreeable entertain- 
ment both to Physician and Patient. This pleasure I 
have often enjoyed. 

" The Medicines suitable for this Intention are those 
of the Strengthening kind, which contract, corrugate, 
wind up, and give firmness and force to the former 
weak and relaxed solids, fibres, and Nerves. Of this 
Tribe are the Bitters, Aromaticks, and Chalybiates, 
such as Jesuit's Bark, Steel, Gentian, Zedoary, Calamas 
aromaticus, Snakeweed, Camomile flowers, Wormwood, 
Oak Bark Acorns, and the mistletoe ; also the mineral 
and vegetable sub-acids each and all have their proper 
place. The most wonderful strengthener of the solids 
in a great variety of Nervous disorders is the Jesuit's 
Bark, even in those frequent cases laboring under inter- 
nal humour of the Gout, for it seems to drive it to the tip 
of the lower extremity, and so out, especially if we follow 
it with the chalybitate waters. 

" I come now to the Dietetic management, that part 
which has the greatest influence in the Cure of difficult 
Nervous distempers, and without which the best of pre- 
scriptions fail to succeed. A strict diet, with much ex- 
ercise, or even a total Milk diet, seldom fails. 

" There is a more transient species of Vapours, which 
very commonly seizes young and temperate persons, 
otherwise strong and healthy, of pretty sound Juices and 
firm Solids, which affects with Disgust of everything that 
used to amuse or please them ; a certain Tediousness of 
Life, a Lowness of Spirits, with languor, Restlessness, 
Heaviness, or Anxiety, and an Aversion to Exercise 
either of the mind or body, and sometimes with violent 
headaches, or dimness of sight ; which symptoms, as they 


will come on without apparent Cause, so will they go off 
as unaccountably in some short time, with or without 
medicine or means used for their Cure. The way of treat- 
ing such transitory symptoms is by giving Nature a Fillip, 
to quicken the circulation, as by eating at the next meal 
some savory and relishing Delicacy and drinking some 
generous wines or liquors. The fact of this Cure has been 
too often tried and repeated with success to admit of a 
doubt. It is to be feared that this has been the cause of 
Advice to others, those of weak Nerves and low Spirits, 
to drink a Bottle heartily every day, or take drams, or a 
bowl of punch, and to use salt Sturgeon, red herrings, 
Anchovies, pickled Oysters, Salmongundy, Ham, and 
other Pickles and potted foods, as a Provokative (ape- 
tizer). But I caution People not to try this Cure fre- 
quently, as in certain cases when these symptoms grow 
stronger, more frequent, and deeper rooted ; then it is 
worse than no remedy, for it will increase the disease. 

" The name of Distempers of Patients we must regard 
as Sacred. Res sacra miser, and Nervous distempers es- 
pecially seem to be under some kind of Disgrace or im- 
putation in the opinion of the vulgar and unlearned ; 
they pass among the multitude for a lower Degree of 
Lunacy, and the first Step towards a distempered Brain. 
The mildest construction they can conceive of them is 
Whim, 111 Humour, Peevishness, or extreme Particularity. 
In the Sex, it is Daintiness, Fantasticalness, or Coquetry. 
So that often when I have been consulted in a Case, be- 
fore I was acquainted with the character or Temper of 
the person or her friend, and found it to be what is com- 
monly known as Nervous, I have been in the utmost 
Difficulty when desired to state or define or name the 
Distemper, for fear of affronting them, or seeming to 
fix a reproach on a family or Person. If I called the 


Case glandular with Nervous symptoms, they sometimes 
concluded, apparently, that I thought them Pox'd or 
had the King's Evil. If I said it was Vapours, Hysteric, 
or Hypochondriacal Disorders, they thought I called them 
Mad or Fantastical ; and if they were some of those who 
value themselves, and fearing neither God nor the Devil, 
I was in Hazard of a Drubbing for seeming to impeach 
their Courage, and was thought as rude as if I had given 
them the lie ; and in some cases, from this too frank 
opinion, I have lost the care of them. Notwithstanding 
all this, the Distemper is a bodily Disease, as much as the 
Small Pox, or a Fever. The truth is, it seldom, and I 
think never, happens only to those of the liveliest and 
quickest natural Faculties, who are the brightest and 
most gifted, so equally are good and bad things of this 
life distributed. For I seldom ever observed a heavy, 
dull, clod-pated Clown much troubled with Nervous dis- 
orders, or at least not to any eminent Degree. 

"In the General Treat me?it of nervous Diseases we may 
prescribe a quarter of a Pint of Viper Wine — a half gill in 
the morning and a half gill at night, after an electuary, or 
the night pills without steel, which is usually very prop- 
er.* Give also, perhaps, tincture of castor, spirits of 
Hartshorn, Tincture of Assafcetida, or Compound Spirits 
of Lavender, or sal ammoniac succinated, taken, mixed to- 
gether, to thirty drops, or seperately, either of them in 
same dose, in any fluid ; for it is certain here is required 
the most generous, active, and penetrating or pungent 
remedies, both to open the obstructed Nerve Passages 
and to enliven and rouse up by their instigation the op- 
pressed Spirits, and so enable them, the Spirits, to irradi- 
ate the muscles and organs, and make their reciprocal 
flights in regular order and with due celerity. When 
*" The Spleen," by R. Blackmore, chap, ii., p. 201. 


opiates are given judiciously, in respect to time and 
condition, for extreme pain or invincible wakefulness, it 
is a blessed*medicine, notwithstanding many Gentlemen 
of the faculty oppose it, because Opium will tye up 
the noxious fumes and matter from the Spleen or ma- 
trix in the Nerves and fix the Humours in the Blood, dis- 
tract and confound the Brain, and make the whole body 
dull and the Head muddy. But this is not necessarily 
so, for it is neutralized by the pain or noxious matters." 

" In treating nervous disorders after the foregoing plan : 
first are those we may suppose have weak solids. Give 
in the first intention, vomits, and follow with calomel in 
very small doses, as one, two, or three grains, once, 
twice, or three times a day, as an alterative. Then begin 
with the chief remedies, as iron, or mercurins alcalifatus, 
or precipitat per se, quicksilver, silver water, mithredate, 
diascordium, astheops mineral, cinebar, antimony nigra, 
bezoar orientale and lunar, bezoardicum joviale, salt of 
tin, ens veneris, mistletoe, castor, valerian, musk, salts 
of amber, assa-foetida, guajacum, myrrh, sagaphenum, 
ammoniacum, sanguis dcaconis, and other choice gums. 

"The more popular remedies are: laudanum, opium, 
salts of wormwood, garlic, soot, sulphor, phosphorus, 
vitrol of mars, spirits of human skulls, essence of vipers in 
infinitesimal doses, zodoary, maidenhair lozenges (to be 
dissolved slowly in the mouth and swallowed for hypo- 
chondriasis), prepared crabs' eyes; also coral with pearls 
in equal parts, half scruple per day ; burnt hart's horn 
shavings, hira picra, elixer salutis, or tinct. sacra, taken 
daily for a year. But in all cases where there is pallor and 
debility give the finest filings of iron and steel ground 
more fine with white sugar candy, one scruple per day 
for the month at a time. 

" Excepting all rheumatics, assafoetida quilted in a lin- 



nen fold and applied to the sides of the thighs of females 
and bound on with flannel bandage can do more good for 
the vapours than any other remedy, for it draws down- 
ward the spirits from the upper organs and gives them 
rest equal to opium without leaving depression behind it. 
Opium is always to be avoided as much as possible in 
all this class of disorders. But suitable diet and appro- 
priate exercise in the open air, when it can be, are vastly 
important to be enjoyed, in every case, without exception, 
only when utterly impossible." 

" Let us not forget," says Dr. Cheyne, " the dietetic 
management, that part which has the greatest influence, 
especially in the cure of nervous and chronic distempers, 
and without which the best and truest remedies fail of 
their effect. If we make inquiry into the practice of the 
early and purest ages of physic and notice the greater and 
more universally approved writers in the healing art, we 
shall find that diet was considered no such contemplable 
help towards the prevention or cure of diseases as is now 
taught and practised. On the contrary, we shall find the 
works of all the more successful practicioners full of par- 
ticular directions and advice on this topic in every dis- 
ease they treat of. And what is, and will be ever, ad- 
mired of the ancients is their method of cure, their sound- 
ness of rules and maxims, and the solidity of their inten- 
tions in following the indications of nature. Hippocra- 
tes, the father of physicians, thought a strict regimen of 
diet of such consequence, both to the well and the sick, 
though in different degrees, that of about ninety books of 
his which remain, or that pass under his name, there are 
eight of them which treat of this matter mainly ; and 
through all the rest of his works he mentions much more 
of his dietetic management than of the assistance he ob- 
tained from medicines." 



" It will be always true, so long as we have such bodies, 
and having to earn our bread by the sweat of the brow, 
that only temperance, and by times abstinence, air, exer- 
cise, diet, and propper evacuations can preserve health, 
life, and gaity, or cure chronical diseases, I mean gener- 
ally, and the contrary will always destroy them, for they 
ever mutually expel one another, like fire and water. 
Even Homer, three thousand years ago, could observe 
that the Homolgians (the Pythagoreans, who were milk, 
cerial, and vegitable eaters) were the longest lived and 
most endurable of men. It is observable that Hippocra- 
tes, Galen, Celsus, and others of the principal fore-fathers 
of physic, cured by means of diet, evacuants, air, and exer- 
cise mostly, even as well as we do with all our knowledge 
of animal economy, materia medica, mathematics, natural 
philosophy, chymistry, and anatomy. Far be it from me 
to lessen now the importance and value of these divine 
sciences. They will all be useful, since luxury keeps pace 
with our medical knowledge ; for the violence and obsti- 
nacy, the variety and degrees of prevailing diseases have 
increased proportionally." 




" I have observed that a reader seldom peruses a book with pleasure 
till he knows whether the writer of it be a black or fair man." — Ad- 

The following paragraphs are taken from the title-page 
and preface of an old book by John French, supposed to 
have been among the last published works on alchemy 
in the English language. It was published in London, 
England, in 1650, and in repeated editions till 1657. 

" The Art of Distillations : a full treatise of the choisest 
Sphagyrical Preparations in true Alchymie ; prepared by 
way of Distillation — with discriptions of the best Furnaces 
and vessels used by the ancient and modern Chemists. 
The anatomy of gold, and silver, and their choicest preper- 
ations, and their virtues ; in Six Books ; " " by John French 
Dr. in Physic." To which is added in the fourth edition, 
" Sublimation and Calcination, in Two Books." " Printed 
by E Cotes for F Williams, at the Bible in Little-britian, 
London, 1657." " Dedicated to my much Honoured 
Friend Tobias Gardbrand, Doctor of Physic and Princi- 
pal of Gloucester Hall, in Oxford, England." Dated in 
preface, Nov. 25, 1650. 

" Nature and Art afford a variety of Sphagyrical Prep- 
arations, but they are yet partly undiscovered, and dis- 
persed in many books, and these of divers Languages, 
and partly reserved in private hands. When I consider 
what need there is of, and how acceptable, a general 

Retzsch Del., 1814. 



Treatise of Distillations, and the Art of Alchymie might 
be, especially to our English Nation, I saw I could do no 
better service than to prepare a full Treatise which should 
contain only the choicest preperations, and only of the 
selectest Authors, both ancient and modern, and out of 
several languages, which I have attained, also some, by 
my own long manual experience, togeather with such as 
by exchange I have obtained out of the hands of private 
persons, which had been held as great secrets." 

" I rejoice, at the break of day after a long tedious 
night, to see how this solitary Art of Alchymie, begins 
again to shine forth out of the clouds of reproach, which 
it hath a long time past undeservedly layed under. There 
are two things which have for a long time eclipsed it, 
vi&.: the mist of unbelief, and Ignorance ; and the spe- 
cious Lunacy of conceit. Arise O Sun of truth, and 
dispel these interposed fogs, that the Queen of Arts 
may triumph. 

" If man did but believe what this Art could effect, and 
what variety of wonder there is in it, they would be no 
longer bound up to Galen, or Aristotle, but would sub- 
scribe to be faithful to the principles of Hermes, and Par- 
acelsus ; as they still stand established, without Aristotle 
as their Prince, or Galen and Hippocrates as their Lords 
and Masters. They would no longer be dreaming forth 
Sic dicet Galenus, but, Ipse dixit Hermes. True, Galen 
and Hippocrates wrote excellently in many things. But 
that which I cannot allow is, their strict observance of 
the quadruplicity of humors, (which in the School of 
Paracelsus, and in the writings of Van Hclmo?it hath 
been confuted), and their confining themselves to such 
simple crude medicines, which are more fit to be put into 
Sphagyrical vessels for exaltation, than into men's bodies 
to be fermented there." 



" Certainly, if men were less ignorant, they would pre- 
ferre Cordial Essences, before Crude Jucies ; Balsamic 
Elixers before flegmatic Waters, the Mercury of Philoso- 
phers before common Quicksilver. But many have so 
little faith in this Art, that they scarcely will hear any- 
thing about it, beyond distilling Waters, and Oyls, and 
extracting Salts ; nay, many learned persons are so unbe- 
lieving that, as saith Sandivogius, if we should show 
them the Art, yet they would not by any means believe 
that there was any water in the Philosopher's sea. As for 
the posebility of the Elixer, you might as well try to per- 
suade them that they know nothing. Yet did not Arte- 
sius by the help of these medicines live iooo years? Did 
not Flammel build fourteen Hospitals in Paris ; besides 
as many in Bologne ; besides Churches and Chappels with 
large revenues to them all? Did not Bacon do many 
miracles and Paracelsus very many miraculous cures? 
Thus much, by way of replying to the frivolous objections 
to the verity of this Art ; and to those who will not even 
believe in it. If you should discover to them the very 
process of the Philosopher's Stone, they would only laugh 
at your simplicity, and will I warrentyou never make use 
of it. Nay, if you should make projection before them, 
in their sight, they would think even then that there was 
a fallacy, so unbelieving are they, and so false learned. 
So I find them, and so I leave them, and shall forever. 
Then there is another sort of men by whom this art hath 
been scandalized, by carrying about and vending their 
whites, and their reds, their sophisticated Oyls, and Salts, 
and their ill-prepared Aurum Vitce." 

"Now we must consider that there are degrees, in this 
Art ; for there is the accomplishing by successions of the 
Elixer itself, and there is the discovering of many essences, 
magisteries, and spirits, &c. Is not the Ludus of Paracel- 


sus, that dissolveth the stone, and all salts and tartarous 
matter in the human body into a Liquor, worth finding 
out ? Is not his Tinea Scatura a most noble Medicine, 
that extinguisheth all preternatural heat in the body in a 
moment ? Is not his A/ta/icst a famous dissolvent, that can 
in an instant, dissolve all things into their first principles? 
and withall is a specificum against all distempers of the 
Spleen, and Liver, worth finding out ? 

" A whole day would fail to recon up all the excellen- 
cis the sphagorical Art might bring to light, by repeated 
processes. In the searching out of which why may not the 
Elixer itself at last be attained? Is it not possible, by 
passing them through many Philosophical repetitions, to 
unfold at last the Riddle and Hieroglyphicks of the Phi- 
losophers? Is there no fundamentum in re for this? Is 
there no Sperm in Gold ? Is it not possible to exalt it for 
multiplication? What is that which makes Gold incor- 
ruptible? What induced the old Philosophers to exam- 
ine Gold for the best matter of their medicines? Was 
not Gold once living? Is there none now to be had, 
or did Sandivogius, the last of known Philosophers, use 
it all ? There is enough if we do but find it out. If so, 
let no man be discouraged in the prosecution of it, espe- 
cially if he keep the five Keys, which Nollins set down as 
a secret, and which all Philosophers with one consent en- 
join the observation and use of." 

Here follows the Theory and Practice, and the Pre- 
scriptions of the Alchemists. John French, the old au- 
thor we quote, dedicated his works, as we have shown, 
to Tobias Grabrand thus: "Dear Sir, I once read of a 
nobleman's porter, who let in all that were rich appar- 
elled, but excluded a poor Philosopher ; but I should, if 
I had been in his place, have rather let in the Philosopher 
without the gay clothing, than the gay cloths without the 



Philosopher. As long as I have sence and reason, I shall 
improve them to the honour of Art, especially that of 
Alchymie, In the perfection thereof there are riches, 
honour, health, and length of days. By it Artefius lived 
iooo years. Flammel we know built 28 Hospitals in 
Paris and Bologne, with large revenues to them, besides 
Churches and Chappels. In the perfection of this Art, 
I mean the accomplishing of the Elixer, is the mystery, 
or Sulphor of Phylosophers, set at liberty ; which grati- 
fies the releasers thereof with three Kingdoms, viz. Vegi- 
table, Animal, and the Mineral ; and what cannot they do, 
and how honourable are they that have the command 
of these? Did not Paracelsus many miraculous cures? 
They may command without reason Lead into Gold ; dying 
plants into fruitfulness ; the sick persons into health ; 
old age into youth; darkness into light; and what not.'' 

" Court the Mother and you win the Daughter ; prevail 
with Nature and the fair Diana of the Philosophers is at 
your service. Now if you do not prevail for the fairest, 
viz., the Sulphur or Mercury of the Philosophers, yet 
Nature hath also other Daughters of wonderful beauty, 
as the mystic Essences, and Magistrices of Philosophers ; 
which also are endowed with riches, honour, and health; 
and some of these you may more easily try for." 

" This art of Alchymie is the Solary Art, which is more 
wonderful than all the other Arts and Sciences ; and if you 
did once make it shine forth, out of the clouds, whereby 
it is eclipsed, it would eclipse and darken all others. This 
Queen of the Arts, is that true philosophy that most ac- 
curately anatomises, and atomizeth Nature." 

" Finally, when thou betakest thyself to the work of 
' Practical Alchymie,' propound to thyself some one prin- 
ciple, and enter not upon it until thou art well versed in 
thy theory ; for it is better to work with the brain and 


imagination, than with thy hands. Especially study 
nature well, and see if thy proposals are agreeable to the 
possibility thereof. Diligently read the sayings of true 
philosophers, read them over again and again ; and med- 
itate on them ; and take heed thou doest not read the 
writings of others, instead of the true Books of the Phi- 
losophers. Compare their sayings with thepossebilites of 
Nature. Compare the obscure parts or places with the 
clear, and where Philosophers say they have erred, do 
thou beware ; and consider well ' The general Axioms,' of 
Philosophers, and re-read so long till thou seest a sweet 
Harmony, and then Consent in their sayings. One thing 
further let me desire thee to take notice of, viz. whereas 
every process is set down plain, yet all of them, and 
others, must be proceeded in Secundum Artem Alchy- 
m is tee." 

Chaucer, in the " Canons Yeomans Tale," quotes a 
dialogue accredited to Plato, from a book called " Senioris 
Zadith fil Hamuelis tabula chyiiiica," whose subject is 
called forth by another alchymist work, popular in the 
middle ages, " Sccreta Secretorum," supposed to contain 
the sum of Aristotle's instructions to Alexander. 

" 'For this science and this comming,' quoth he, ' is of 
the secret of secrets,' " concerning which he makes a dubi- 
ous revelation under the name of Magnesia, and " spake 
so mistily," that it calls forth the new question from his 
disciple : 

" ' What is Magnesia, good sir, I pray ? ' 
' It is a water that is made, I say, 
'Of th' elementes foure,' quoth Plato. 
'Tell me the roote, good Sir,' quoth he tho, 
' Of that water, if that it be your will.' 
' Nay, nay,' quoth Plato, ' certain that I n'ill. 
' The philosophers sworn were every one 
'That they should not discover it to none.'" 


And upon this the poet reads them a philosopher's moral 
not " mistily," that God inspireth whom He will in this 
knowledge, and he who goes contrary 

"'.... maketh God his adversary, 
' As for to work any thing in contrary 
' Of his will, certes never shall he thrive, 
' Though that he multiply term of his live. 
' And there a point ; for ended is my tale. 
' God send ev'ry good man boot of his bale.' " 

Old-time Popular Medicines. 

" To make the Magestry of Blood* — Take of the purest 
blood as much as you please, put it into a Pellican, that 
three parts of four may be empty, and digest it a month 
in Horse-dung, (in which time it will swell and become as 
much more as it was, when it was put in), then distill off 
the fleghm in Balneo, and in the bottom will remain the 
Magestry of Blood, which now must be distilled and co- 
hobated nine times, in a Retort in ashes, and then it is 

"This Magestry, is of excellent virtue, which being 
taken inwardly and applied outwardly, .easeth pains, and 
cureth most diseases." 

" Elixer of Mummie, — Take of mummie (viz. of Man's- 
flesh hardened) cut small, four ounces. Spirits of Wine 
terebinthenated, ten ounces, put them into a glazed vessel 
(three parts of four being empty), which set in Horse- 
dung to digest for the space of a month ; then take it out 
and express it, let the expression be circulated a month, 
then let it run through Manica Hippocratis ; then evapo- 
rate the Spirit, till that which remains in the bottom be 

*" The Art of Distillation and Alchemy," by J. French, Doctor in Physic. 
London, 1657 ; copied from pages 112 to 214. 


like Oyle ; which is the true Elixer of Mummie. This 
is a wonderful prevention against all Infections." 

" The Essence of Mans-brains. — Take the Brains of a 
young man, that hath died a violent death, togeather with 
its membranes, Arteries, Veins, Nerves, and all the pith of 
the Back bone ; bruise these in a stone mortar till they 
become a kind of pap, then put as much of the Spirits of 
Wine as will cover three or four fingers bredth : then put 
it into a large glass, that three parts of four be empty, 
being Hermetically closed, then digest it half a year in 
Horse-dung; then take it out and distill it in Balnco, and 
cohobate the waters till the greatest part of the Brains be 
distilled off. 

"A scruple, or a drop or two, of this Essence, taken in 
some specifical water, once a day, is a most infallable 
medicine against the Falling-sickness." 

" A famous Spirit of Cranium-Juananum. — Take human 
craniums as many as you please, break them into small 
pieces, which with water put into a glass-retort, well 
coated, with a large Receiver well luted, then put a strong 
fire to it by degrees, continuing it till you see no more 
fumes come over ; and you shall have a yellow Spirit, a 
red Oyl, and a voltile Salt. Take this Salt and the yellow 
Spirit, and digest them by circulation three months in 
Balneo, and thou shalt have an excellent moist Spirit. 
This is the same as that famous Spirit of Dr. Goddard's 
in Holborn It helps Gout, Dropsie, infirm Stomach, 
and indeed strengthens all weak parts, and openeth all 
obstructions, and is a kind of General Panaaza." 

"Another excellent Spirit of human sculls. — Take of 
human sculls without bruising them, only breaking them 
into pieces, lay them piece by piece upon a net spread 
over the wide mouth of any vessel, being almost full 
of water, and cover this all with another vessel very 



close but with vent, and then make the water boil and 
keep it boiling three days and three nights ; and in that 
time the Bones will be as soft as cheese ; then pound 
them fine, and to every pound thereof add half a pound 
of Hungarian Vitrol uncalsigned, and as much spirits of 
Wine as will make it into a soft paste. This paste digest 
in a vessel Hemetrical sealed the space of a month in 
Balnco, then distill in a Retort in Sand, till all be dry: 
and you shall have a most excellent Spirit. This in 
very small doses is of wonderful use in the Epileptic Con- 
vulsions, in all Fevers putrid or pestilential, in passions 
of the Heart ; and if taken in some Liquor it is an excel- 
lent Sudorifik." 

" Eye -water of Milk. — Take of Womans-milk a pint, of 
white Copperas a Drachm, distill them in ashes. Note, 
that as soon as thou perceiveth any sharpness to come 
over, then cease. Let inflamed eyes be washed with this 
three or four times a day, for it cureth wonderfully." 

Old-fashioned Tincture of Rhubarb, of the Alchemists. 
— "Take Moncks Rhubarb, cut it in small pieces, one 
ounce, pour thereon the Oyl of bitter Almonds, about 
three fingers high, or four ounces ; set it in the heat of 
the Sun, a Philosophical month, or 40 days, so that the 
Oyl takes the Essence of the Rhubarb to itself : then 
press it hard, and to that which is expressed, add spirits 
of wine rectefied and leave it for some days in Balneo 
Maria-, so the spirit of wine doth attract unto it the 
whole Essence; then put the remaining Rhubarb again 
with more Oyl to digest until it be tinged ; and again 
extract the Tincture with spirits of wine, which repeat 
so often till the Rhubarb yields no more Tincture. Then 
distil off half the tinged spirits of wine, which return 
again, and again, and then distil off half ; which work re- 
peat four times, and at last distil off the whole together. 


Thus is the Tincture brought over, per Alembicum, with 
the spirits of wine. Afterwards you must seperate it, 
and bring it to be like honey, in the form of a Balsam, 
fn Balneo Vaporoso. 

" Its dose is 10 drops, in some Conserve of Roses." 

" Aqua Splenetica, famous for purefying the Spleen.— 
Take roots of the finger fern, and parsley, polyphody, 
lovage, birthwort, calamus, and acorns of the sea, of each 
an ounce ; leaves of the scolopendria, wormwood, fumi- 
tary, dodder, agrimony, ceterach, viper grass, goats rue, 
harts-horn rasped, of each half an ounce ; grains of par- 
adise, red roses, lavender flowers of each a handful and 
a half ; rich wine eighteen pounds ; mix and let these 
digest 12 days, then distil off in Balneo Mariez." 

" This cutteth, discusseth, or chiefly purefyith the 
Spleen ; and strengthneth the heart, and the head." 

" Restorative Liquor of Meat. — Take the heart, lungs 
and liver of a good Calf, and the heart, lungs, and liver 
of a Fox, new killed, cut them all small, and add to them 
a quart of Shell Snails, after scoured in salt-water; then 
let them be put into a Copper vessel tinned withinside, 
and covered close that no vapour come forth ; set this 
vessel over the steam of seething-water for 24 hours 
or thereabouts, and they will be for the most part of 
them turned into a Liquor of themselves; then take 
out this liquor and put it into a large Pellican, or Bolt- 
head, putting to them two quarts of old Malligo-wine ; 
Rosmary flowers, Marygold, and Marshmallows flowers, 
of each a handful ; a half pound of raisins of the Sun, 
stoned, of mace or nutmeg a drachm ; digest all together 
the space of a fortnight : then pour off that which is clear, 
from the feces, and sweten it with sugar, or syrup of 
Gilly-flowers, and let the Patient take five spoon-fulls 
three times a day. This recovereth the decaying strength 


wonderfully : also useful for those who can neither eat 
nor digest food. It is very useful in Consumption, and 
repairs the radial moisture marvellously." 

" Oy 'I of Snakes mid Adders. — Take Snakes, and Adders 
equal parts, when they are fat, which is in June or July ; 
cut off their heads, and tails, and take off their skins and 
unbowel them, and put them into a Glass gourd, and 
pour on so much of the pure spirits of Wine well rec- 
tefied, that it may cover them four or five fingers' breadth ; 
stop the Glass well, and set it in Balneo, till all the sub- 
stance be turned into an Oyl ; which keep well stoped 
for use. This Oyl doth wonderful cures, in recovering 
hearing in those that be quite deaf, if a drop be nightly 
put into the Ears." 

" The Bears-balsam. — Take of Bear's feet a pound, distil 
in a Retort and rectifie three times : then to this put 
the mother tincture of Saffron, Rosmary, Sage, and the 
spirit of Wine fortis, of each three ounces ; mix well 
togeather and let remain in warm ashes for the space of 
a night ; then strain and pour off the oyl and put four 
ounces of best pure beeswax while hot and mix quickly. 
This is an incomparable Balsam, to apply for Stiffness, 
the Gout, and Palsie." 

" The Quintessence of Snakes, Adders, and Vipers. — Take 
of the biggest and fattest Snakes, Adders, and Vipers, 
which you can get best in June or July, cut off their heads, 
take off their skins and tails, and unbowel them, then cut 
them into small pieces, and put them into a Gla,ss of a 
wide open mouth, and set them in a warm Balneo, that 
they may be well dryed, which will be done in three or 
four days; then take them out, and put them into a 
Bolt-head, and pour on them the best alcolizalid Wine, 
as much as will cover them seven fingers' breadth. Stop 
the Glass Hermetically, and digest them fifteen days in 


Balnco, or so long till the Wine be completely coveted, 
which pour off; then pour on more of the aforesaid spirit 
of Wine, till all the quintessence be extracted. Then put 
all the tinged spirits together, and draw off the spirits in a 
gentle Balnco, till it be thick at the bottom ; on this pour 
spirits of Wine caryophilated, and stir them well to- 
geather, and digest them in a Circulatory ten days ; then 
abstract the spirit of Wine, when the quintessence re- 
maineth at the bottom perfect. 

" This Quintessence, is of extraordinary strength and 
virtue for the purefying of the blood, the flesh, and the 
skin ; and consequently clenseth of all diseases therein. 
It cures also the Falling-sickness, by drop doses, and 
strengthens the Brain, Hearing, and Sight, and preserv- 
eth from Gray-hairs ; reneweth the old to Youth, pre- 
serveth Women young, cureth the Gout, and Consump- 
tion ; and is good aginst Stings, Bites, and Pestilential 

" Pure Viper Wine. — Take the best large and fat Vipers, 
four or six, according to their bigness, and put them 
into a gallon of the best Canary-sack, let them stand 
three months, then draw off as you take it. Some put 
the Vipers alive into the Wine, and there suffocate them, 
and afterwards treat them as above. This Viper Wine 
hath much the same virtues as the fore-going Quintes- 
sence ; but it also provoketh to Love, and cures the 
Leprosy, and all worst corruptions of the Blood." 

" Aqua-Magnanimitatis ; the famous Water of Kun- 
rath. — Take of Pismires, and Ants, the biggest, (that have 
a soureth smell are the best) two handfuls, spirits of Wine 
a gallon : digest them in a Glass vessel, close stoped, the 
space of a month : in which time they will be dissolved 
into a Liquor, then distill them in Balnco, till all be dry. 
Then put the same quantity of Ants as before, digest, 


and distil them in the same said Liquor as before : do 
this three times, then aromatize the Spirit, with some 
aromatic. Note, that upon the spirit floats on Oyl, which 
must be seperated. 

" This spirit is of excellent use to stir up the Animal 
Spirits : in so much that John Casmire, Palgrave of the 
Rhine, General against the Turks, did always take a 
little of it, when they went to fight, to increase courage 
and magnanimity, which it did to admiration. It doth 
also wonderfully wake up those any way slothful ; and the 
spirits that are dulled or dead with any cold distemper. 
This seperate Oyl, doth the same effect and indeed more 
powerfully ; it helpeth deafness by dropping it into the 
Ears ; this water helpeth also the Eyes that have any 
film growing on them, it being dropped into them." 

"Aqua-Magna?timitatisfortis. — Take of Ants or Pismires 
a handful, of their Eggs two hundred, of Millipedes, i.e. 
Woodlice, one hundred, of honey Bees one hundred and 
fifty: digest these in two pints of spirits of Wine, being 
very well impregnated with the brightest soot ; digest 
them togeather for the space of a month, then pour off 
the mother tincture and keep it safe. This must be di- 
lute with water or spirit, and is of the same vertue as the 

" Water of Amber, made by Paracelsus, out of Cow- 
dung. — Take of cow-dung, fresh, and distil it in Balneo, 
and the water thereof will have the smell of Amber- 
gricse. This water in very small doses is excellent in all 
inivard inflammations." 


" Water of Swallows, wonderful against Fits, and the 
Falling-sickness. — Take of Swallows, cut into pieces the 
whole birds without seperating anything frofn them, six 
ounces ; mix the meat togeather well, and add of Casto- 
rum cut small an ounce, then infuse them twelve hours 
in two pints of Canary wine, then put them into a Glass 
gourd, and distil them in Sand till all be dry, then coho- 
bate the Liquor three times. This Wine taken in very 
small doses, in mornings, cureth them that have the Fall- 
ing-sickness, or Fits, or the Staggers." 

" Water of Dung. — Take of any kind of dung as much 
as you please, whilest it is fresh, put into a Common Still 
with white Wine enough to moisten it, and with a slow or 
soft fire distil it off: it will be better if the Still be over a 
water-vapour, and if thou wilt have it stronger, cohobate 
the water or wine over the fires many times repeated, for 
we see there is great vertue in dung, and many sorts there- 
of are very medicinable. If we take Doves-dung, the 
water is very excellent for obstruction of the Kidneys, 
Bladder, or Liver, helpeth the Jaundice presently. If 
Horse-dung is sphagericaly treated in like manner, it is 
good against the Bastard-plurisie, Stitches, Wind, Ob- 
structions, Dropsie, Scurvy, &c." 

" Water of the Sperm of Frogs. — Take of the Frog- 
spawn gathered in March, about the new of the moon, 
four pounds, Cow-dung fresh six pounds, mix them well 
togeather, and let them stand the space of one day, then 
distil them close in ashes. This water allays all hot 
pains, both inward, and outward, in fevers, and especially 
in Gout." 



" Water of Meat. — Take what Flesh you please, the 
bloodiest parts, unwashed, cut very fine, then bruised, (or 
if it be a feathered fowl, take it after being chased up and 
down until it be weried, and then suddenly strangled, the 
feathers then plucked off without putting it into water, 
and the bowels taken out and it all clean, cut the flesh, 
bones, gizzard, liver and heart) and pour upon it as much 
cold water as sufficient, with spices and herbs, then set it 
over a gentle fire in an earthen glazed vessel, for the 
space of 24 hours ; then put on the head and lute it close, 
and there will distill off a delicious restorative Water of 
Meat ; good for the feeble." 

" To Fortify a Load-stone. — Take a Load-stone and heat 
it very hot in coals, but so that it be not fired, then 
quickly and perfectly quench it in the Oyl of Crocus Mar- 
tis, made of the best Steel, that it may imbibe as much as 
it can. Thou shalt by this means make the natural Load- 
stone so very strong and powerful, that thou mayest pull 
out nails out of a piece of wood, with it ; and besides do 
wonderful things with it. Now the reason of this is, as 
saith Paracelsus, ' because the spirit of Iron is the life of 
Load-stone, and this may be extracted from, or increased 
in the Load-stone.' " 

" Luminous Water. — Take the tails of many Glow 
worms, put them in a Glass still, and distil them mBalneo; 
then pour the said water upon more fresh tails of Glow 
worms ; do this fifteen times, then thou shalt have a most 
Luminous Water, by which thou maist see to read in the 
darkest night." 

" The World in a Glass. — Take of the purest Salt Nitre 
as much as you please, of Tin half so much ; mix these 
well togeather, then calsigne them Hermetically; then 


put them into a Retort, to which annex a Glass-Receiver, 
and lute them well togeather, let there be leaves of Gold 
put into the bottom thereof, then put fire to the Retort, 
until vapors arise that will cleave to the Gold : augment 
the fire till no more fumes ascend ; then take away the 
Receiver and close it Hermetically, and make a Lamp- 
fire under it, and now you will see represented in it, the 
Sun, Moon, Starrs, Fountains, Flowers, Trees, Fruits, and 
indeed all things, which is a glorious sight to behold." 

" The Golden Mountain. — Take of snake Adders' Eggs, 
half a pound, put them into a Glass Retort, distil them by 
degrees ; when all is dry, you shall see the feces at the 
bottom turgid, and puffed up, and seem to be, as it were, 
Golden Mountains, being very glorious to behold." 

" Dr. Burgcs his Plague Water. — Take three pints of 
Muscadine, and boyle in it Sage and Rue, of each a hand- 
ful, till a pint be wasted ; then strain it, and set it over 
the fire again, put thereto a drachm of long-pepers, of 
Ginger, and Nutmeg, each half an ounce, being all bruised 
togeather ; then boyl them a little, and put thereto half 
an ounce of Andromachus-treacle, and three drachms of 
Mithridate, and a half pint of the best Angelica-water. 
This must be kept as your life, and above all earthly treas- 
ure ; and must be taken to the quantity of a spoonful 
morning and evening, if you be already infected, and sweat 
thereupon. If you be not infected, a spoonfull is suffi- 
cient, half in the morning, and half at night. All the 
Plague-time, under God, trust to this ; for there was never 
a man, woman, or child, that ever failed of their expecta- 
tion in taking it : " — more faith than medicine in such 
emergency ! 

" A Water that purgcth, without any pain or griping. — 
Take of Scammony one ounce, Hermodactils, two ounces ; 
the seeds of Broom, lesser-Spurge, Dwarf-elder of each 



half an ounce : the juice of wild Asses cucumber, of black 
Hellebore, the fresh flowers of Elder, of each an ounce 
and a half: Polypodium, six ounces; of Senna three 
ounces; Red-sugar eight ounces ; distilled water six pints. 
Let all be bruised and then infused in the water 24 hours, 
then distilled in Balnco. This water may be given from 
one drachm to two ounces ; it purgeth all manner of hu- 
mors, opens all obstructions, and is pleasant to be taken : 
they whose stomach loathe all other things, may take 
this acceptably. Notice, there may be hanged a little 
bag of Spices in this distilled Water, and it may be swet- 
ened as taken." 

" Liquor against the Tooth-aclie. — Take of Oyl of Cloves 
half an ounce, dissolve in it half a drachm of Camphor: 
add to them half an ounce of spirits of Turpentine, and 
half a drachm of Opium. A drop or two of this Liquor 
put into a hollow tooth with some lint, easeth the tooth- 
ache presently. 

" Oyl of Amber, against all dreadful diseases. — Take 
of light Amber one part, of the powder of flints calsigned, 
and of tiles powdered two parts ; mingle them, and put 
them into a Retort, and distil them in sand. The Oyl 
which is white and clear, which is first distilled off, keep 
it by itself ; then continue the process as long as any Oyl 
distils off. The salt of amber, which, you see, adheres to 
the neck of the Retort within side, being gathered, let it 
be purified by solution, filtration, and coagulation, ac- 
cording to art, and be kept close for use. After the 
process is ended, and all be cold, let there be a rectifica- 
tion and seperation of the clear Oyl, from the foetid Oyl, 
after this manner. Put the distilled Liquors into a glass 
body, and distil it in Balneo Maria, with a fire strong 
enough, and first the Phlegm or spiritual part will distil 
over, and also the Golden Oyl, and swim on the Liquor, 


which is then to be seperated by a glass tube, and kept 
for use. But the strong blackish Oyl that remains in the 
stil, keep by itself — a Balsam of amber. 

" This yellow Oyl of Amber was formerly esteemed Sa- 
cred. Its excellent virtue, is effectual in the epilepsie, 
Apoplexie, Meloncholie, Cramps, Vertigo, Stone, Pesti- 
lence, Cold defluxions in the head, Pain or palpitation of 
the Heart, and for such as are troubled in their minde ; 
for the Jaundice, difficulty of Breathing, difficulty of the 
Menstruums, the white flux, difficulty of urine, hard 
Travel, Strangulation of the Womb: for Fevers, and for 
Worms. The dose is from one to two grains. The Bal- 
sam of Amber is used externally or internally for the suf- 
focation of the Matrix. It is also used as emplasters for 
closing wounds." 

" Usque-bath, or the Irish Aqua vitce is made thus. 
Take a gallon of spirits and put therein a quart of Canary 
Sack, and all in a Glass-vessel ; add two pounds of Raisins 
of the Sun, stoned, but not washed ; two ounces of Dates 
stoned, four nutmegs, and an ounce of extract of liquorice, 
all bruised togeather coarsly; stop the vessel very close 
and let them infuse in a cold place for seven days ; then 
let the Liquor run through a bag called Manica Hippo- 
cratis, made of cotton. This Liquor is used for the 
Stomach after surfeits." 

" A Compound Oyl, against the Suffocation of the Ma- 
trix, and the Megrim. — Take of Rue powdered, one 
pound ; Castorium two ounces, Olibanum and Myrrh of 
each four ounces ; Linceed Oyl one pound and a half. Let 
them be digested togeather for fourteen days, in Ventre 
Equino, or such like heat while close stoped ; afterwards 
distil it by a Retort in a close Reverberatory. With this 
Oyl anoint the Navil morning and evening ; or the fore- 
head and temples, or both the Navel and Temples." 



" To Discover what kind of metal there is in any sam- 
ple, substance, or Ore, though you have but a few grains 
thereof.— Test : Take 2 to 4 grains, or a little more if 
you have it, of any Ore, or substance, put it to half an 
ounce of fine broken Venice-glass, and melt them to- 
gether in a Crusible over a fire of charcole, it being cov- 
ered, and according to the tincture or colour that the 
glass receiveth, so may you judge what kind of metal 
there is : for if it be a Copper Ore, then the glass will be 
tinged with a Sea-green colour. 

" If Copper and Iron, a Grass-green. 

"If Zinc, a golden-purple. 

" If Iron, a dark yellow. 

" If Tin, a pale yellow. 

"If Silver, a whitish yellow. 

" If Gold, a fine golden skie colour. 

"If Gold and Silver togeather, a Smaragdine colour. 

" If Gold, Silver, Copper, Zinc, and Iron togeather, an 
Amethist colour." 

" Hepar Sulphor, the same as Crocus Metallorum ; or 
the Liver of Antimony. — -Take crude Antimony, and of 
Salt Peter each a like quantity ; beat them small, mix 
them and put them into a strong Iron Mortar, inclined 
sidewise ; then kindle the powders with a strong quick 
Char-cole fire under, or a red-hot Iron-rod put into them, 
and so will the Antimony be fixed, and seperated from 
its Arsenical Sulphur; then seperate the Salt Peter from 
it, and further edulcorate the real Hepar Sulphor." 

" The Spagirical Anatomy of Gold* — I shall first show 
whence Gold had its origin, and what the matter thereof 
is. As Nature is in the will of God, and God created 
her, so Nature made for herself a seed ; i.e. her will in the 
elements. Now she is indeed one, yet she brings forth 

* Dr. French, " Chemistry and Alchemy," book vi., page 189. 


divers things ; but she operates nothing without a Sperm. 
Whatsoever the Sperm willeth, Nature operates, for she 
is, as it were, the instrument of any Artificers. The 
Sperm therefore of every thing is better, and more prof- 
itable than Nature herself; for thou shalt from Nature 
without Sperm do as much as a Goldsmith without a 
fire ; or a Husbandman without grain or seed. Now the 
Sperm of anything is the Elixer, the Balsam of Sulphor, 
and the same as Humidus Radicale is in metals. 

" Four Elements generate a Sperm, by the will of God, 
and imagination of Nature .... so the four Elements 
by their indefinent motion, each according to its quality, 
casts forth a Sperm into the centre of the Earth, where 
it is digested, and then by motion is sent abroad. Now 
the centre of the Earth is a certain empty place, where 
nothing can rest ; the four Elements send forth their 
qualities, to the circumference of the centre .... so it 
occurs in the centre of the Earth, that the magnetic 
power of a certain part, or place, attracts something con- 
venient to itself, for the beginning and bringing forth of 
some body, and the rest is cast forth as stones and other 
excrements. For every thing hath its original from this 

" For example, pour upon an even Table some water, 
in the middle thereof, and round about the water place 
divers things and divers colours thereof, and Salts, &c, 
but every thing by itself near the edge of the water. 
You shall see as the water touches the red color, it will 
be made red by it ; if the salt, it will attract and be salt- 
ish, and so the rest. Now the water doth not change 
the things, but the diversity of things, each by its own 
nature so changeth the water. In like manner the seed 
or sperm being cast forth by the four elements from the 
centre of the Earth unto the superficies thereof, passeth 


through various places, and according to the nature of 
the given place, is any thing produced : if it come to a 
pure place of the earth, then water, a pure thing is made. 
So you see that seed and the Sperm of all things is but 
one, and yet it generates divers things, as shown by the 
foregoing example. The Sperm, while it is in the centre, 
is indifferent to all forms, but when it comes into any 
determinate place, it changeth no more its form. The 
sperm whilst it is in the centre can as easily produce a tree, 
as a metal, or an herb, as a stone, and one more precious 
than another, according to the richness or purity of the 
place. Now this sperm is produced of Elements thus: 

" The four Elements are never quiet but by reason of 
their similarity, or by their contrariety, and mutually act- 
ing one upon the other; and every one of itself sends 
forth its own subtlety, and they agree then in the centre. 
Now in the centre is the Archaeas, the servant of Nature, 
which mixes those sperms togeather, sends them abroad, 
and by distillation sublimes them, by the heat of contin- 
ual motion, unto the superfices of the Earth. For the 
Earth is porous, and this vapour or wind, or aura, as the 
Philosophers call it, is by distilling through the pores of 
the earth resolved into water, of which all things are pro- 
duced. Let all the sons of Art know, therefore, that the 
sperm of metals is not different from the sperm of all 
things else ; viz., it being a humid ether vapour, or aura. 
Therefore in vain do Artists endeavour the reduction of 
metals into their first matter form, which is attenuated 
and only imperceptible. When Philosophers speak of 
first matter, saith Bernard Trevisan, they did not mean 
this vapour, but the second matter, which is unctuous 
water ; which to us is the first, because we never find the 

" The specification of this vapour into distinct metals, 


is thus : This vapour passeth in its distillation through 
the earth, through places either cold, or hot. If through 
a hot and pure place where the fatness of Sulphor sticks 
to the sides thereof, then that vapour, which is called the 
Mercury of Philosophers, mixeth and joineth itself to the 
fatness, which afterwards it sublimes with itself ; and 
then it becomes, leaving the name of a vapour, an Unc- 
t'uosity, which the antecedent vapour did purge, where 
the earth is subtle, pure, and humid, and fills the pores 
thereof and is joined to it ; so it becomes Gold ; but where 
it is hot and yet something impure, Silver. But if the 
fatness comes to impure places, which are cold, it is made 
Lead ; but if that place be pure and mixed with sulphur 
it becomes Copper; for by how much the more pure, 
and warm, the place is, so much the more excellent doth 
it make the metals, even to pure Gold." . . . . " Perfect 
Health, and pure Gold are alike. Geber also asserts the 
same thing, when he saith, that all sorts of sick, or im- 
perfect bodies, of whatever nature, have superfluous hu- 
midities, prone to generate further combustible crudity 
and corruption, and some have an impure, feculent nat- 
ural grossness." 

" Now if any skilful Philosopher could wittily seperate 
this adventitious impurity from gold, whiie it is yet living 
(for from common gold it never can be by reason of the 
Spirits that are bound up and as good as dead in it) he 
would set subtle Sulphor at liberty, and for this service 
he should be gratified with three Kingdoms, viz. Vege- 
table, Animal, and Mineral ; I mean he could remove the 
great obstacle which hinders gold from being digested 
into the Elixer. For as saith Sandivagius, the Elixer, or 
Tincture of Philosophers is nothing else but Gold, digested, 
or attenuated unto the highest potency or degree. This 



would be the Sperm for curing all diseases, and for mak- 
ing Gold ad infinitum." 

" If Gold consists of Mercury and Sulphor, as Paracel- 
sus affirms, and if all Murcury can be reduced into a 
transparent water, which is one of the greatest secrets I 
know, or care to know, why may not that water, when 
well attenuated, in some sense, be called a kind of Liv- 
ing Gold, which will make perhaps a medicine, or Men- 
struum, unfit for the vulgar to know." 

After several pages* occupied with numerous formula; 
or prescriptions containing gold, as " Dr. Anthony's Aurum 
Potable," so famous in Italy, Germany, and Spain, also 
various oils and tinctures of gold, and other prepara- 
tions of gold with mercury, is the following : 

" The Virtues of the aforesaid prcperations of Gold. 
With these medicines of Gold the Ancients did not only 
preserve the health and strength of their minds and 
bodies, but also prolonged their lives, to a very old age ; 
and not that only, but they cured thoroughly Madness, 
Melancholy, Apoplexie, Epilepsie, Pluresie, Leprosie, 
Lues Venera, the Wolf, Cancer, Consumption, Noli me 
tangere, Asthma and inward Imposthumes, and such like 
diseases, which most physicians account incurable. For 
there is such a potency of fire residing in prepared Gold, 
which doth overcome ; and not only quell or consume 
deadly diseases, or humors, but also renews the very 
marrow of the bones ; and raiseth the whole human 
body, though it had been half dead. 

" Let old men take it twice a month, or weekly, for by 
this means will their old age be fresh ; till the appointed 
time of death. 

" Let it be given often to those women who have past 
the years 

•French's "Alchemy," book vi., pp. 198-210. 


" Let it be given to women in travil. . . . 

" Let young men take any of these preperations of 
Gold, monthly, and they may expect long life. 

" Let young women and maids take it once a month, 
and they will appear fresh and beautiful." 

" I have set down several tinctures of Gold, and now I 
wish to give some more of the true Philosophers Gold 
and Silver; for indeed the Art of preparing these is the 
true Alchymy, in comparison of which all the new Chym- 
ical discoveries are but abortive attempts ; else found 
out by accident. What unworthiness God saw in Gold, 
more than in other things, that he should deny the seed 
of multiplication to it, and give it to others, is hard to 
discover: more than to discover the Elixer itself. In 
trying, says Sandivagius, ' they try most difficult opera- 
tions, and very subtle experiments and discoveries, which 
the Philosophers themselves never dreamed of.' 'Nay,' 
saith the afore named author, ' if Hermes himself were now 
living, togeather with subtle-witted Geber, and most pro- 
found Raimund Lullie, they would be accounted by our 
modern Cheymists not for Philosophers, but rather for 
learners.' They were ignorant of these so many Distilla- 
tions ; so many repeated Circulations; so many Calcina- 
tions; and so many minute and other difficult Operations 
of Artists, now a day used : which indeed men of this 
age did find out, and added to their Books ; Yet there is 
one thing wanting to us, which they did, viz., to know 
how to make the Philosophers stone, or final Tincture ; 
the process of which, or one according to some Philoso- 
phers, are these — 

" The Process of the Elixer, according to Paracelsus. — Take 
the mineral Electrum, being imature, and made very sub- 
tle, put it into its own sphere, that the impurities and 
superflueties may be washed away then purge it, as much 

j6o myths in medicine. 

as possibly you can, with Stibium; after the Alchymis- 
tical way, lest by its impurity thou suffer prejudice. 
Then resolve it in the stomach of an Estridgc, which is 
brought forth in the earth, and through the sharpness of 
the Eagle, where it is comfortated in its vertue. 

" Now when the Elcctrum is consumed, and hath, after 
its solutions, received the color of a Mary-gold, do not 
forget to reduce it into a spiritual transparent essence, 
which is like to true Amber ; then add half so much as 
the Elcctrum did weigh, before its preperation, of the 
extended Eagle, and oftentimes abstract it from it in the 
stomach of the Estridge, and by this means the Elcctrum 
will be made more dynamic or spiritual. Now when the 
stomach of the Estridge is wearied with labour, it will 
be necessary to refresh it, and always again to abstract 
it. Lastly, when it hath again lost its sharpness, add the 
Tartarized Quintessence; yet so, that, it be spoyled of 
its redness the higth of four fingers, and that must pass 
over with it ; this do so often till it be of itself white, 
and when it is enough, and thou seest that sign, sublime 
it. So will the Elcctrum be converted into the whiteness 
of an exalted Eagle, and, with a little more labour, be 
transmuted into a deep redness, and then it is fit for 

" The Process of ' The Elixir' according to Divi Scschi, 
and Pontanus. — Take of our earth through eleven degrees, 
eleven grains ; of our Gold, and not of the vulgar, one 
grain ; of our Lune, not of the vulgar, two grains ; but 
be thou admonished that thou take not of the Gold and 
Silver of the vulgar, for they are dead, but take ours 
which are living ; then put them into our fire, and there 
will thence be made a dry Liquor. First the earth will 
be resolved into water, which is called the Mercury of 
Philosophers, and in that water it will resolve the bodies 


of the Sun, and Moon, and consume them ; that there 
remain but the tenth part, with one part, and this will be 
the Humidnm Radicale Metallicum, Then take the water 
of the Salt Nitre of our earth, in which there is a living 
stream, if thou diggest the pit knee deep ; take there- 
from the water of it, but take it clear, and set over it that 
Hnmidum Radicale, and put it over the fire of putrefac- 
tion and generation, but not such as was in the first op- 

" Govern all things in this process with a great deal of 
discretion, until there appear colours like to the tail of a 
Peacock. Govern it by repeated digestions of it, and be 
not weary till these colours cease ; and there appear 
throughout the whole, a green colour ; and so of the 
rest : and when thou shalt see in the bottom, ashes of a 
fiery colour, and the water almost red, open the vessel, 
dip in a feather, and smeer over some iron with it, see if 
it tinge, having in readiness that water which is the 
Menstruum of the world, (out of the sphear of the Moon, 
so often rectefied, until it can calcine Gold,) put in so 
much of that water, as was the measure of cold air 
which went in : boyle it again with the former fire until 
it tinge again. 

" Take the matter now and grind it by hand with a 
Physical pote?itial contrituration, as diligently as may be 
done ; then set it aside upon the fire, and let the portion 
of the fire be known ; viz, that it only stir up the mat- 
ter ; and in a short time, that fire, without any other lay- 
ing on of hands, will accomplish the whole work, be- 
cause it will putrefie, corrupt, generate and perfect, and 
bring to appear the three principal colours, Black, White, 
and Red. 

" So, by the means of our fire, the Medicine will be 
multiplied, not only in very quantity but also in vertue. 


Withal, they might therefore try to search out this fire, 
which is invisible, equal, continual, vapours not away if 
so very infinite, except it be too much stirred up ; it 
partakes of hidden Sulphur ; is taken from elsewhere, not 
from the matter, but putteth down all things; dissolveth 
and neutralizeth all corruptions, congealeth, and calcines ; 
and is artificial to find out, or to be understood, and 
that by a compendious way; is not transmuted with the 
matter, because it is not of the matter; and by it thou 
shalt attain thy wish, because itself doth the whole work; 
and is the very key of the Philosophers, which they know 
how to use, but never reveal." 

" The Smaragdine Table of Hermes, whence all Alchymie 
did arise. True, without any falsity ; certain, and most 
true. That which is inferior, is as that which is superior; 
and that which is superior, is as that which is inferior, for 
the accomplishing of the miricles by one, least thing. 
And as all things were first from one, and by the media- 
tion of one ; so all things have proceeded from one, by 
adaptation. The Father thereof is the Sun ; the Mother 
thereof is the Moon ; the Wind carried it in its belly; the 
Nurse thereof, is the Earth. This is the perfection of 
Art. Thou shalt always seperate the earth from the fire, 
the subtle from the thick, sweetly, with great judgment. 
So that all obscurity flees from thee, and thou doest won- 
derful adaptations. Hence, having three parts of all 
Philosophy, I am called Hermes Trismegistus." 

" Homunculus, the famous Arcanum, or Restorative 
Medicament of Paracelsus* 

"First, we must understand, that there are three accep- 
tations of the word Homunculus, in Paracelsus, which are 
these : 

" I. Homunculus, is a superstitious Image, made in the 

* French's " Alchemy," book vi., p. 139. 


place or name of any one, that it may contain an astral 
and invisible man ; wherefore it was made for a super- 
stitious use. 

" 2. Honiunculus is taken for an artificial man, made 
of Sperma — digested in the shape of a man, and then 
nourished and increased with the essence of mans blood: 
and this is not repugnant to the possebility of Nature, 
and Art. But is one of the greatest wonders of God 
which he ever did suffer mortal man to know. I shall 
not here set down the full process, because I think it 
unfit to be done, at least to be divulged ; besides, neither 
this, nor the former, is for my present purpose. 

" 3. Homunculus, is taken for an excellent Arcanum, or 
Medicament ; extracted by the spagyrical Art, from the 
chiefest staff of the natural life in man, and according 
to this conception, I shall speak of it. But before I show 
you the mysterious process, I shall give you an account 
why this Medicament is called Homunculus ; and it is 

" No wise man will deny, that the staff of life is the 
nourishment thereof; and that the chiefest nutriment is 
Bread and Wine: being ordained of God, and Nature, 
above all other things for the sustenance thereof. Be- 
sides, Paracelsus preferred this nutriment for the genera- 
tion of the Blood and Spirits, and the forming thence the 
sperm of his wonderful Homunculus. Now by a suitable 
allusion, the nutriment is taken for the life of man, and 
especially because it is transmuted into life ; and again, 
the life is taken for the man ; for unless a man be alive, 
he is not a man, but the carkas only, of a man, and the 
baser part thereof ; which cannot perfectly be taken for 
the whole man, as the nobler part may. In as much 
therefore as the nutriment, or aliment of life, may be 
called the life of man, and the life of man be called man : 


this nutriment extracted out of Bread, and Wine, and be- 
ing by many repeated digestions exalted, into the highest 
purity and potency of a nutretive substance, and conse- 
quently becoming the life of man, being so Potentially, it 
may metaphorically be called Homuncidus. 

" The process, which in part shall be set down allegori- 
cally, is thus : Take the best Wheat, and the best Wine, 
of each like quantity, put them into a Glass, which thou 
must Hermetically close up ; then let them putrefy in 
Horse-dung three days, or until the Wheat begins to ger- 
minate, or to sprout forth, which then must be taken 
forth, and bruised in a mortar, and be pressed through a 
linnen cloth, and there will come forth a white Juice like 
milk ; you must cast away the feces, and let this juice be 
put into a Glass, which must be not above half full; stop 
it close, and set it in Horse-dung, as before, for the space 
of fifty days. If the heat be temperate, and not exceeding 
the natural heat of a man, the matter will be turned into 
a spagyrical blood and flesh, like an Embryo. This is 
the principal, out of which is generated a twofold sperm, 
viz, the father and mother, generating the Homunculus, 
without which there can be no generation." .... 

" From the blood and flesh of this Embryo, let the 
water be seperated in Balnco, and the air in ashes, and 
both be kept by themselves. Then to the feces of the 
latter distillation, let the water of the former distillation 
be added, both which must putrefy in Balneo, the space 
of ten days; after this, distill the water repeatedly (which 
is then the vehiculum of the fire) togeather with the spirit, 
in ashes ; then again distill off this water in Balneo, and 
in the bottom remains the fire which must be distilled 
in ashes. Keep both these apart; and thus you shall 
have the four Elements, seperated from the Chaos of 
the Embryo. 


"Again, the feculent earth is to be reverbrated in a 
close vessel for the space of four days. In the interim, 
distil off the fourth part of the first distillation in Balneo, 
and cast it aside ; the other three parts distil in ashes, 
and pour it again into the reverbrated earth and distil it 
in a strong fire ; cohobate it four times, and so you shall 
have a very clear water, splendid, odoriferous, and must 
be kept apart. After this, pour again the spirit upon the 
first water and putrefy them togeather in Balneo the space 
of three days, then put them into a Retort, and distil 
them in Sand, and there will come over a water tasting 
of spirit : let this water be distilled in Balneo, and what 
distills off keep by itself, as also what remaining in the 
bottom, which is the fire, keep by itself. This last dis- 
tilled water pour again upon its earth, and let them, be 
macerated togeather in Balneo for the space of three days, 
and then let all the water be distilled in Sand, and let 
what will arise be seperated in Balneo, and the residue 
remaining in the bottom be reserved with the former 
residence. Let the water be again poured upon its 
earth, and then abstracted, and seperated as before, un- 
til nothing remains in the bottom which is not seperated 
in Balneo. 

" This being done, let the water which was last seper- 
ated be mixed with the residue of its fire and be macer- 
ated in Bahico three days, and all be again distilled in 
Balneo, that can ascend with that heat, and let what re- 
mains be distilled in ashes from the fire and what shall 
be elevated shall be aerial ; and what remains in the 
bottom is fiery. These two last Liquors are ascribed to 
the two first principles ; the former to Mercury, the latter 
to Sulphor, and are accounted by Paracelsus, not as ele- 
ments, but their vital parts ; being, as it were, the nat- 
ural Spirits and Soul, which are in them by nature. 


" Now, both are to be rectefied togeather and reflected 
into their centre with a circular motion, that this mer- 
curins may be prepared with its water of attenuation, be- 
ing kept clear and odoriferous in the upper place, and 
put the Sulphur by itself. Now it remains, that we look 
into the third principle : so let the reverbrated earth, 
being ground upon a marble, imbibe its own water, which 
did above remain after the last seperation of the Liquors 
made in Balneo, so that this be the fourth part of the 
weight of its earth, and be congealed by the heat of 
ashes into its earth, and let this be done repeatedly 
and so oft, the proportion being observed, until the earth 
has drunk up all its water. 

"And lastly, let this earth be sublimed into a white 
powder, as white as snow; the feces being cast away. 
This earth being sublimed, and freed from its obscurity, is 
the true Chaos of the first Elements ; for it contains those 
things occult, seeing it is the Salt of Nature, in which they 
lye hid ; being, as it were, reflexed in their centre. This 
is the Third principle of Paracelsus. It is the Salt, which 
is the Matrix, in which the two former sperms, viz, of 
Mercury, and Sulphur, are to be put, and to be closed up 
togeather in a glazen womb, sealed with Hermes seals, for 
the true generation of the Homunculus produced from 
the spagyrical Embryo : and this is the true Homunculus, 
or great Arcanum ; otherwise called the nutritive Medica- 
ment of Paracelsus. 

" This Homunculus is of such vertue, that presently 
after a very little of it is taken into the body it is turned 
into Blood and Spirits! If then diseases prove mortal, 
because they destroy the Spirits, what mortal disease 
can withstand such a medicine, that doth so soon re- 
pair, and so strongly fortifie the Spirits, as this Homun- 
culus ; it being as Oyl to the vital flame, into which it 


is immediately turned, thereby renewing the same. By 
this medicament diseases are surely overcome, and ex- 
pelled ; so also is youth renewed, and gray hairs pre- 

" The Spagyrical Anatomie of Water " (in 1650.) Water 
seems to be a body so very Homogeal, as if neither Na- 
ture or Art could discover any Heterogeneity in the parts 
thereof. Thus indeed it seems to the eyes of the Vulgar, 
but to a Philosopher far otherwise: as I shall make credi- 
ble, by presenting to your consideration a twofold proc- 
ess, for discovering the dissemilar parts thereof ; whereof 
the one is natural, only, and the other artificial. But 
before I speak of either, it must be premised, that in the 
elements of water there is great plenty of the Spirits of 
the World, which is more predominant in it, than in any 
other element, for the use and benefit of universal Nature ; 
and that this Spirit hath three distinct substances, viz, 
Salt, Sulphur, and Mercury. Now, by Salt, we must un- 
derstand a substance very dry, vital, and radical ; having 
in it the beginning of corporification, as I may so call 
it. By Sulphur, a substance full of light, and vital heat, 
or vivifying fire, containing in itself the beginning of mo- 
tion. By Mercury, a substance abounding with radical 
moisture, with which the Sulphur of life, or the vital fire 
is cherished, and preserved. 

" Now these substances which are in the Spirit of the 
World, make all Fountains, and Waters, but with some 
differences, according to the predominancy of either. 
This several predominancy thereof, is the ground of the 
variety of productions, because all things are produced out 
of water ; for Water is both the Sperm, and the Men- 
struum of the World ; the former, because it includes the 
seed of everything; the latter, because the Sperm of 
Nature is putrefied in it ; that the seed included in it 


should be actuated, and take upon it the divers forms of 
things : and because by it the seed itself, and all things 
produced of seed grow, and are increased. Now this 
being premised, I shall show the natural process, which 
shall be made plain, in three productions, viz, the Spawn 
of Frogs, of Stones, and of Vegitables." 

" The spawn of Frogs is produced in this manner ; viz. 
The Sulphur which is in the Water, being by the heat of 
the Sun resolved, and dissolved, is greedily, and with de- 
light conceived by the element of water. . . . The water 
wants ficcity, which the Sulphur hath, and therefore ex- 
ceedingly desiring it, doth greedily attract it to itself. 
Sulphor also wants humidity, and therefore attracts the 
humidity of the water. Moreover the humidity of the 
water, hath the humidity of the Salt laid up occultly in it ; 
also the Sulphur cherisheth the ficcity of the fire, and de- 
sires nothing more than the humidity of the Salt, that is 
in the water. Sulphor also contains the ficcity of the salt, 
whence it is that Salt requires a ficcity from the Sulphor. 
And thus do these attractive vertues mutually act upon 
each others subject. Now by this means there is a concep- 
tion made in the water which now begins to be turgid, 
puffed up, and troubled, as also to be grosser, and more 
slimie, until out of the spermatic vesseles, the Sperms be 
cast upwards, in which Sperms, after a while, appear black 
specks, which are the seed of the Frogs, and by the heat 
of the Sun, are in a short time turned into the embryo 
of the same ; by which it appears there are dissimilary 
parts in water." 

Of course not a word of the foregoing is true, but this 
was supposed to be a wonderful analysis of water by the 
alchemist in 1650. But further: 

" 2d. Stones are produced out of water that have a 
mucilaginous Mercury, which the Salt, with which it also 


abounds, fixith into stones. This you may see clearly by 
putting stones into water ; for they will after a time con- 
tract a mucilaginous slime matter, which being taken out 
of the water and set in the Sun shine, becomes to be a 
stony nature. And whence comes those stones, gravel, 
and sand, which we see in springs ? They are not washed 
down out of the Mountains and Hills as some say, from 
whence the water springs, neither were they in the earth 
before the springs break forth, as some imagine, or if you 
dig round about the springs even beyond the heads of 
them, you shall find no stones at all in the earth, only in 
the veins thereof through which the water runs. Now 
the reason of the smallness of these stones is the contin- 
ual motion of the water, which hinders them from being 
united into a continued bigness. I shall make a further 
confirmation of this in an artificial process of manifesting 
the heterogeneity of water ; here only adding the assertion 
of Van Hclmont, 'that with his Altahest all stones, and in- 
deed all things may be turned into Water.' If so, then 
you know what the Maxim is, viz, All things may be re- 
solved into that from whence they had their beginning. 

" 3d. Vegitables are produced out of water, as you 
may clearly see, by the water sending forth plants that 
have no roots fixed in the bottom ; of which sort is the 
herb called Duck-weed, which putteth forth a little string, 
into the water, which is as it were the root thereof. For 
the confirmation of this, I will state, that a Gentleman in 
this city, London, at this time, of no small worth, saith 
he had fair water standing in a Glass, divers years, and at 
last a plant grew out of it. Also, if you put some plants, 
as Water-mint, &c. into a Glass of fair water only, it will 
germinate, so that the roots shall fill the Glass. Here- 
unto may be added the experiment of Van Helmont, con- 
cerning the growth of a tree ; for saith he — 



" I took two hundred pounds of earth by weight, 
dryed in an oven, and put into a vessel, into which I set 
a Willow-tree which weighed five pounds ; which by the 
addition of water to the earth did in five years time, grow 
to such a bigness, as that it weighed one hundred and 
sixty nine pounds ; at which time I also dried and 
weighed the earth, and within two ounces it retained its 
former weight. Besides, the Ancients have observed that 
in some places herbs have grown out of the snow ; and 
do not we see that all Vegitables are nourished, and in- 
creased, with insipid water; for what else is their juice? 

" If you cut a Vine in the month of March, it will drop 
gallons of water, which insipid water if it had remained 
in the trunk of the Vine, would in a little time have been 
digested, into Leaves, Stalks, and Grapes, which Grapes 
also by further maturation would have yielded Wine ; 
out of which you might have extracted a burning spirit, 
which spirit would flash. Now, I say, although this in- 
sipid water, be by the specifical Sulphur and Salt of the 
Vine, fixed into the Stalks, Leaves, and Grapes of the 
Vine, yet, these give it not a coporificative matter, for that 
it had before ; or an unseen aptitude and potency to be- 
come what afterwards it proved to be : for indeed Stalks, 
Leaves, and Grapes, were potentially in it before ; all of 
which now becomes seen to be actual, by virtue of the 
Sun, and of the aforesaid Sulphur and Salt, whereof the 
two latter were actually in the very small seed ; and there- 
fore, as I said, could not add any bulk to them. 

" Moreover, do not we see, that when things are burnt 
and purefied, they ascend up into the air by way of va- 
pour and fumes, and then descend by way of insipid dew, 
or rain ? Now what do all these signifie, but that from 
water, are all things produced, and in it are dissimilary 
parts ? 


" The Artificial process is this. Take of what water 
you please, as much as you please ; let it settle until quite 
clear. Then digest it the space of a month; after which 
time evaporate the fourth part, by a very gentle heat, 
and cast it away, it being but the phlegm ; then distil off 
the remainder of the water, till the feces only are left; 
which will be a slimy saltish substance. This middle 
substance distil again, as before, casting away every time 
in succession the fourth part, and keeping the remainder 
by itself for further use ; and this repeat seven times. 
Note, that after the fourth or fifth distilation, the water 
will distil over like Milk, colouring the head of the Still, 
so that it can hardly be washed or scoured off. 

"This water, after the seventh distillation, will leave 
no feces behinde ; and if you digest it for three months, 
it will be coagulated into Stones and Crystals, which some 
extol very much for a Medicine, to cure inward and out- 
ward putrefactions ; out of which also may be made a dis- 
solving Spirit. Note, that as this resultant water stands 
in digestion, you may see divers live colours. Now as for 
the feces, which I spoke of, which indeed all waters, even 
the swetest leave at the bottom, being as I said a saltish 
slime, and in taste as it were a medium between salt and 
nitre : take them and distil them in a Retort in Sand, and 
there will first come forth a white fume, which being con- 
densed falleth in a straight line to the bottom ; next will 
come over a red Oyl of great medicinal efficasy, exceed- 
ing the vertues of the Salt of Nitre. For illustration of 
part of this process, take pure May-dew, gathered in the 
morning, and put it into a Glass vessel, covered with a 
parchment pricked full of holes, and set it in the heat of 
the Sun, for the space of four months; and there will 
store up green feces, which will fall to the bottom ; the 
residue of the water being white and clear. Now by all 


this, we may conclude what manner of dissimilarity there 
is in the parts of Water." 

*■' With this Canon, I dwelt have seven year 
And of his science am I ne'er the near. . . . 

It slides away so fast 
It will make beggars of us all at last .... 
That sliding science hath made me so bare .... 
And of my svvink (labor) yet bleared is mine eye. 
Lo ! what advantage is to multiply .... 
A man may lightly learn ; if he have aught 
To multiply, and bring his good to naught .... 
For conne he letterure or conne he nonne 
Both endeth in multiplication. . . . 

Our lampes burn both night and day ; 

To bring about our craft if that we may ; 

Seared pokette, salt-petre, and vitriol 

And divers fires made of wood and coal ; 

Sal-tartar, alkali, salt preparate 

And combust matters, and coagulate; 

Clay made with horse and mannes hair and oil 

Of tartar, alum, glass, barm, wort, argoil, 

Rosalgar, and other matters imbibing .... 

The four spirits and the bodies seven — 

The first spirit Quicksilver called is ; 

.... And the fourth Brimstone.'' 

Chaucer, in " The Canons Yeoman's Tale." 

Now does the reader query how it was possible for the 
learned in old times to believe and do such strange 
things as alchemy asserts? If we turn to that judicious 
and profound recent author of the " Early History of 
Chemistry," Ferdinand Hoefer, we can see from another 
standpoint how delusions in those times were easily fallen 
into. Let us forget, he says, for a moment, the advance- 
ment chemistry has made since the fifteenth century. 
Suppose we were, in fancy, transported to the laboratory 


of one of the great old masters of " the sacred art " in 
the earlier centuries, and watch his operations : 

" 1st Experiment. — Some common spring water or well 
water is heated in an open vessel. The water boils and 
changes to an aeriform body (steam), leaving, when boiled 
away, at the bottom of the vessel, a white earth, in the 
form of a powder. Conclusion : water changes into air 
and earth. What objection could we make to this infer- 
ence if we were wholly ignorant of the substances which 
water holds invisibly in solution, and which are, after 
evaporation, deposited at the bottom of the vessel ? 

" 2d Experiment. — A piece of red-hot iron is plunged 
into a basin full of water, covered with a glass bell. 
The water diminishes in volume, and a candle being in- 
troduced into the bell, sets fire to the gas inside. Conclu- 
sion : water changes into fire. Is not this the natural 
conclusion which would present itself to any one who 
was ignorant that water is a composite body, consisting 
of two gases, one of which, oxygen, is absorbed by the 
iron, while the other, hydrogen, is ignited by contact 
with the flame ? 

" 3</ Experiment. — A piece of lead, or any other metal 
except gold, platinum, or silver, is burned (calsigned) in 
contact with the air. It immediately loses its primitive 
properties and is transformed into a powder or speci-es of 
ashes or lime. The ashes, which are the product of the 
death of the metal (for it was early the prevailing belief 
that metals possessed life), are again taken and heated in 
a crucible, together with some grains of wheat, and the 
metal is seen again, rising from its ashes, and reassuming 
its original form and properties. Conclusion: metals are 
destroyed by fire and re-vivified by wheat and heat. No 
objection could be raised against this inference ; for the 
reduction of oxides by means of carbon, such as wheat, 



was as little icnown as the phenomenon of the oxidation 
of metals. It was from this power of resuscitating and re- 
viving the dead — that is, calsigning metals— that grains of 
wheat were made the symbols of the resurrection and of 
life eternal. Wheat kernels capable of germination are 
found in the wrappings of some of the oldest mummies in 

" 4?A Experiment. — Argentiferous lead ore, appear- 
ing some like a galena, is burned in cupels made of 
ivory black or pulverized bones; the lead disappears, 
and at the end of the operation there remains in the 
cupel a nugget of pure silver. Nothing was more nat- 
ural than to conclude that the lead was transformed into 
silver, then to build on this and similar facts the the- 
ory of the transubstantiation of metals, a theory which, 
later on, led for ages a searching for the philosopher's 

" $t/i Experiment. — A strong acid is poured upon cop- 
per — for sulphuric, nitric, and hydrochloric acid were early 
known — the metal is instantly acted upon, and in process 
of time disappears, or rather is transformed into a green 
transparent liquid. Then a thin plate of iron is plunged 
into this liquid and the copper is seen to reappear in its 
ordinary aspect, while the iron in its turn is dissolved, 
and there is a green liquid. What more natural than to 
conclude that iron is transformed into copper? If, in- 
stead of the copper, a solution of lead, silver, or gold had 
been employed they would have held that iron was 
transformed into lead, silver, or gold. 

"6th Experiment. — Mercury, which is quicksilver, is 
poured in a gentle shower on melted sulpher, and a sub- 
stance is produced as black as raven's wing. This sub- 
stance, when warmed in a close vessel, is voltalized 
without changing, and then gradually assumes a brill- 


iant red color (vermillion). Must not this curious phe- 
nomenon, which even in the present day is unable to 
be explained, have struck with amazement the worship- 
pers of the sacred art; the more, as in their eyes black 
and red were the very symbols of light and darkness, 
the good and evil principles, and the union of these 
two represented in the moral order of things their tran- 
scendental God — the universe? 

" jt/i Experiment. — Organic substances are heated in 
a still, and from the liquids which are removed by dis- 
tillation, and the essences that escape, there remains a 
solid residuum. Was it not likely that results such as 
these would go far to establish the theory which made 
earth, air, fire, and water the four elements of the world? 
Thesolid metals were in those days considered as living 
bodies, and the gases as souls, which they sometimes 
allowed to escape. Of all the ingenious inventions of the 
famous Jewess, Maria, of those early times, for regulating 
fusions and slow distillations, the only one that has 
survived is the Balneo Mara;, or treatment of things by 
liquefaction and gentle heat." 

Science generally that appeared in later times seems 
to date from three discoveries, namely, that of Co- 
pernicus, the effect of which expelled the astrologers 
from the society of astronomers ; that of Torricelli and 
Pascal, of the weight of the atmosphere, the foundation 
of physics ; and that of Lavoisier, who, by discovering 
oxygen, destroyed the theory of Stahl. 

Before closing this chapter it should be stated that 
the older phase of alchemy, that known to the ancients, 
included astrology and was largely a speculative philoso- 
phy. It was very ancient, and at first largely religious. 
Then it passed into the hands of the priest-doctors in Syria 
and Egypt, and then in Greece and Rome, and so on in 


all Europe until the sixteenth century, when, as we see, 
it degenerated into pure charlatanism. No longer was 
the definition of alchemy, as the pretended art of making 
gold, correct or adequate. It was the alchemists who 
first stated, though confusedly, the problems which 
science is still engaged in solving. Now, the full time 
is come to apply to all occult questions the same search- 
ing analysis to which the other myths and assumptions of 
the older times have been subjected. Old alchemy lent 
itself to the search for the philosopher's stone and the 
universal panacea, while it sought to point out the or- 
igin of life, and then to show the connection of different 
lives, or Cosmos. Professor Christlieb, at Bonn, says it 
taught pantheism, which now in these times stands in 
complete contradistinction to all sound investigation of 
natural science. According to the latest researches of 
Pasteur, which are confirmed by the French Academy of 
Sciences, the assumption of a " gcneratio spontanea or 
acquivoca " — i.e., that organic life should spring from inor- 
ganic matter — must hereafter be considered as scien- 
tifically incorrect. The second phase of alchemy we see 
exemplified in these extensive quotations from French 
as a mixture of ridiculous charlatanism and chemistry. 
While the third phase of alchemy crops out in our own 
time most prominently in the so-called system of homoe- 

Retzsch Del., 1814. 



1 77 



Prosperus- Tis time 

I should inform thee further. Lend thy hand, 
And pluck my magic garment from me — So : 
Lie there my art. — The Tetnpest. . 

Bernardo. Sit down awhile ; 

And let us once again assail your ears, 
That are so fortified against our story, 
What we two nights have seen. 

Horatio. Well, sit we down, 

And let us hear Bernardo speak of this. 


It now remains for us to examine and explain the only 
exclusive medical "sect" of our own day. I refer to 
homoeopathy. And we need to examine it not only 
fairly, but thoroughly, for it is an organized sect, which 
does not hesitate to assume that its particular theory 
and practice is the only one in accordance with true 
science, and teaches that the regular medical practice is 
wrong and injurious. Homoeopathy is evidently the out- 
come of a long line of old-school dogmatic systems of 
medicine and alchemy, whose theory and practice were 
based more or less on occult and transcendental ideas. 
The small factions of eclectics and botanies, of faith cure, 
spiritualists, clairvoyants, hydropathists, and electro- 
pathistsare only of yesterday, and have no lineal descent 
from the successive ancient schools ; while homoeopathy 
has drifted along down the present century, very much 


to-day, as it was at first, the avowed enemy of the regular 
medical profession. Homoeopathy, as is well known, 
originated with Samuel Hahnemann, who was born at 
Meissen, near Dresden, in 1755. In 1797 he published 
his first idea in regard to this dogma. He then stated 
that he believed the reason that cinchona bark cured 
the ague is because it has the power to produce symptoms 
in a healthy person similar to those of ague; and this 
was one of the old-time axioms. He claimed he had 
made the discovery of a law that has no exceptions, yet no 
other person since that time has found it uniformly true. 
In 1808 he got so far as to publish his " Organon," which 
he continued to do up to some forty years ago, when he 
died in Paris. 

Hahnemann called his dogma, that like cures like, 
" homoeopathy ;" and then he nicknamed all regular 
physicians " allopathists," and published it to the world. 
He then placed " an impassable gulf between them," — for 
these are his very words, — and his followers, the homce- 
opathists, to this day have not failed to maintain this an- 
tipathy and cause it to spread among the people, until 
"allopathy" and "homoeopathy" are familiar words in 
some communities. The writings of the homceopathists 
are full of it, their speech is not without it ; as if it were, 
as it really is, an irrepressible conflict. 

This work, the " Organon " of Hahnemann, is still the 
very Koran of the homceopathists everywhere, and is in- 
variably the first in the list of text-books at their schools to 
the present time. Those other various later medical sys- 
tems, so much taught as systems just before Hahnemann 
appeared, by the famous Hoffman, Stahl, Boerhaave, and 
Brown, have all collapsed and passed away; yet it is true 
that some thoughts they advanced still live to enrich the 
present symmetry of true medical culture. 



That the homceopathists are an "exclusive sect" can 
be proved by abundant unanswerable evidence, since 
they themselves continue to set it forth in their books and 
catalogues, as well as speech. Before me are several 
catalogues of colleges and professors, of hospitals, and 
books just issued and received, as that of the New York 
Homceopathic Medical College, the Homoeopathic Hos- 
pital and College of Philadelphia, the Chicago Homceo- 
pathic Medical College, the St. Louis Homceopathic Medi- 
cal College ; the Homceopathic Pharmacy of Otis Clapp 
in Boston, Henpel and Breakly's Homceopathic Practice, 
Boerick and Tafel's Homceopathic Pharmacy, and price- 
lists of homceopathic books. But who ever saw a cata- 
logue of an " Allopathic " Medical College of Philadelphia, 
or an Allopathic Medical College of New York, or Chicago, 
or of any where else on the face of the earth ? Then 
who are the self-styled " sectarian school " ? Who nick- 
named the other, and continues to do so, and still repre- 
sents its practice to be what it is not ? The fact is, the 
homceopathists are the real " old-school doctors " of the 
present day, by lineal descent, retaining the absurd as- 
sumptions and assertions of alchemy. 

" The name homoeopathy is made from a Greek word 
meaning ' like ' and another meaning ' affection ' — that is, 
a like affection is cured by the remedy. A fanciful 
doctrine, which maintains that disordered actions and 
real diseases in the human body are to be cured by caus- 
ing other and greater, or more powerful disorders of a 
like kind ; and this, as asserted by Hahnemann, will ' over- 
power and expell ' — that is, cure — any disorder; and all 
this is to be accomplished by exceedingly infinitesimal 
doses ! These pretended doses are often of inert agents, 
as the thousandth, millionth, or decillionth part of a drop 
or grain; for example, of bark, camphor, camomile, thor- 


oughwort, 'natrum,' or table salt, charcoal, chalk, or soda, 
which is the actual authorized dose employed by the 
homoeopathists." — Dunglinsons Medical Dictionary. 

Of course that is nothing less than falsification of med- 
icine, and whoever practises it understanding^ must be 
a falsifier. Should this be accepted, countenanced, or 
condoned by the regular medical profession it would to 
a degree become a similia and a falsity. Moreover, every 
homoeopathic physician who pretends to learning and 
common sense, and yet continues to teach and practice 
such nonsense in these days, ought to be ashamed of 
himself. This subject has been tested and examined 
thoroughly from time to time by thousands of very able 
and competent physicians in different countries, and it has 
been uniformly condemned as a fallacy or a false pretence 
and a great organized scheme of quackery. It is now be- 
lieved that the remedy for this is to make the "system" 
of homoeopathy thoroughly known among the people, 
who unwittingly sustain it, or it would soon vanish away.* 
"Scientifically conducted experiments with homoeo- 
pathic dilutions were long ago made by Andral, and 
others with him, in the hospitals of Paris, and by other 
eminent regular physicians elsewhere, and always with 
negative results. f Some patients doubtless improved 
while these so-called medicines were being administered, 
but not in consequence of their administration, in the 
opinion of those best qualified to judge. Indeed, a large 
number of leading homoeopathists now deny the efficacy 
of these imponderable doses, though the homoeopathic 

* If we take any notice of a quack medicine, it blows it into notoriety. If 
we say something against it, the cry of persecution is raised and the re- 
sult is its temporary success. But if we examine it and analyze it, and show 
by an expose what it is made of, what is in its dose and what is not in it, it 
dies sooner or later as surely as a body that has received a mortal wound. 

f Dr. A. B. Palmer, in North American Review, March, 1872, p. 311. 


schools and text-books still teach their use, and most of the 
homozopathists, though oftett resorting to other remedies, 
still give the tiny sugar pellets. As already intimated, 
there is not a tenet, as presented by the founder of this 
system, which has not been rejected by various mem- 
bers who are regarded as high authority in the homoeo- 
pathic fraternity. The denial of the efficacy of the 
higher dilutions is an admission that all the reported 
wonderful cases of success in the past by Hahnemann and 
his followers were deceptive. Their treatments were 
claimed to have been made with their dilutions, or al- 
leged 'potencies.' " 

No, it is the ensemble of homoeopathy, especially the 
ridiculous infinitesimal dose, and all that that carries 
with it or implies, that gives offence to common sense, to 
science, and to honest rational medicine. To-day in the 
city of New York is a homoeopathic apothecary and 
bookstore, one of their foremost, from which this year, 
as in the past, are sent out catalogues, with price-lists, 
all over this great country, in which it is stated — 

"Finding that our thirtieth (dilutions) gave good satis- 
faction to physicians, we concluded to make in like man- 
ner High Potencies ; that is, preparing them by hand, 
with pure alcohol, giving each potency twelve powerful 
shakes. We have thus carried up over two hundred and 
fifty different remedies to the two hundredth, and one 
hundred and fifty to the five hundredth dilution, then 
one hundred to the one thousandth potency." I know 
you must be ready to exclaim, Can it be possible that 
they expect to find customers for these great dilutions? 
Certainly they do, or they would not make them, or say 
they do. I must confess that both the making and the 
selling seem quite incredible. Why, in real fact and 
truth, it would take all Lake Erie, Lake Michigan, and 


Lake Superior to hold the whole of that one drop when 
so diluted ! Yes, it would require a demijohn larger 
than the moon or the earth to contain all of that ho- 
moeopathic drop or grain when so diluted or attenu- 

Am I too severe when I denounce homoeopathy as be- 
ing a sham, a falsification, an organized quackery? Here 
I appeal to all fair-minded and eminent men in science 
and learning if I have overstated the facts, or exagger- 
ated one iota, as based on the homoeopathist's own as- 
serted and claimed dilutions and triturations. In fact, I 
am prepared to state that there is no appreciable medicine 
whatever in the homoeopathic fifth or sixth potency, 
which are of their lowest class of dilutions. Then if 
there is no medicine in their dose, homoeopathy is false. 
This is self-evident. All its testimony from beginning 
to end is false, or a fallacy. Homoeopathy has been 
abandoned, and real medicine has been given by the 
homceopathist in every case where the necessity required 
and relief or cure was obtained from medicine. 

Different writers at different times have made various 
calculations with the view of giving as clear and definite 
statements as possible of the "infinitesimal doses," which 
are the very core and heart of the system of homoeop- 
athy, and in so doing they usually follow the precise 
successive dilutions up to the thirtieth attenuation or 
potency, as Hahnemann taught. The author does not 
propose so much, but only to dissect thoroughly, and 
demonstrate clearly, the least dilutions termed " low po-> 
tency." Dr. Hempel, a prominent homoeopathic author- 
ity, places the different dilutions they use into four 
grades of classification. 

First class — the lower, from the first to the sixth po> 


Second class — the middle, from the sixth to the thirti- 
eth potency. 

Third class — the higher, from the thirtieth to the two 
hundredth potency. 

Fourth class — the highest, from the two hundredth to 
the one thousandth potency. 

It is those of the first class only that we will try to 
measure and comprehend, for even those of their fifth 
potency, which are of the larger doses peculiar to homoe- 
opathy, are so small and attenuated that with the most 
powerful microscope yet invented we cannot see any 
medicine ; no one can find in them by chemical tests the 
least trace of medicine. This statement we are prepared 
to prove. Of course not only the lower dilutions, but also 
the higher, are claimed or employed by the homceopa- 
thists, for when the utter nonsense of the "infinitesimal" 
is abandoned homoeopathy is gone. " The higher the in- 
finitesimal the purer the homoeopathy." As to the 
"similia" dogma, that is of little consequence either 
way, excepting as it is put forward as a figure-head for 
the invisible " system." It is not a universal law, as they 
had supposed, and they now know it is not ; for many of 
their leading members already have abandoned that 
claim. Any honest and earnest physician may choose 
his particular remedy for a particular case by that rule, 
or any other rule, if he finds it of any advantage to do 
so ; but that is no reason why he should cut himself off 
from the regular medical profession, and join some small 
exclusive sect, and so oppose, by so much as his position 
allows him, all unity and progress throughout the medi- 
cal world. 

After all, the homceopathist will say, " Our theory 
ought to be understood. We do not depend on the large 
size of the dose." But what is the sense of talking about 

1 84 


" the dose " when there is not a particle of medicine to 
make a dose out of ? Homoeopathic dilutions utterly at- 
tenuate it (the drop) until it disappears like a vanished 
cloud. There is nothing there but a grain of sugar or a 
drop of alcohol. But the homceopathist replies, " We 
need to have present the similia of a nonentity of dis- 
ease, manifested by a symptom, to attract the nonentity 
of the potentized dose in order to get a homoeopathic 
cure." Hahnemann says, and they still claim, that there 
is no other cure but the homoeopathic. That is, there 
must be "a spirit-like aberration in the patient," produc- 
ing certain symptoms called disease, which requires a 
similia dose of a nonentity to neutralize it and drive it 
from the system ; because then the pellet, a particle of 
sugar, becomes more powerful than the disease ! Con- 
clusion : this is a fair sample of homoeopathic logic, 
theory, and practice. 

Now let us see how the dose is made. We must first 
bring out the process into broad daylight. Let us ex- 
amine it in the tiny vials on the table secttndcm artem 
homceopathicum, then work it out on the blackboard, 
and set the boys and girls at work "proving" the so- 
called "doses." Almost any little American girl or boy 
over ten years of age, if asked to try it, can explain, 
" prove," and show up this system of homoeopathic fal- 
lacy, or falsification and sham, which hundreds of other- 
wise well informed people do believe and do not examine- 

Hempel, the eminent and recent homoeopathic writer, 
says : " In order to obtain good homoeopathic prepara- 
tions follow Hahnemann's rules as closely as may be 
possible and convenient." 

"The insane root. 
That takes the reason prisoner. 


And oftentimes to win us to our harm 
The instruments of darkness tell us truths, 
Win us with honest trifles, to betray us 
In deepest consequences." — Macbeth. 

The origin and authority of " the infinitesimal dose," 
and how it is made, are found in the following quota- 
tions from Hahnemann's " Organon." 

" If two drops of a mixture of equal parts of alcohol 
and the recent juice of any medicinal plant be diluted 
with ninety-eight drops of alcohol, in a vial capable of 
containing one hundred and thirty drops (for the con- 
venience of shaking), and the whole be twice shaken to- 
gether, the medicine becomes exalted in energy to the 
first development of power, or, as it may be denominated, 
the first potence* Then the process is to be continued 
through twenty-nine additional vials, each of equal ca- 
pacity with the first, and each containing ninety-nine 
drops of alcohol, so that every successive vial after the 
first, being furnished with one drop from the vial or dilu- 
tion immediately preceding (which has just been shaken), 
is, in its turn, to be shaken twice, remembering to num- 
ber the dilution of each vial upon the cork as the opera- 
tion proceeds. These manipulations are to be conducted 
with care through all the vials, from the first up to the 
thirtieth, or decillionth development of power, which is 
the one in most general use." 

" In addition to this dilution, it must be remembered 
that the power of homceopathic medicine is augmented 
(potentiated) by friction and shakings at each successive 
division and comminution. This development of pow- 
ers, unknown before ray time, is so great, that in later 
years convincing experience has led me to make use of 
* Hahnemann's " Organon," p. 200. 


two successions (shakes) after each successive dilution, 
where formerly 1 employed ten." * 

According to Hahnemann, then, we are to take thirty, 
two-drachm vials with corks, and stand them along in a 
row on a counter or table before us. Into the first vial 
must be put one drop of the juice, or one grain of the 
prepared powder, that is to be diluted. This is all the 
medicine to be used of any one kind in all the potencies 
from the first to the thirtieth. But we shall follow the 
process only to the sixth dilution or potency ; I am 
sure this will be far enough to be completely convincing. 
To this end, then, we need only to take six two-drachm 
vials. Into the first we put exactly one drop. Then we 
are to dilute this drop by adding ninety-nine drops of al- 
cohol, shake it twice, and cork it. Then one drop of this 
dilution is to be put into the second vial, adding ninety- 
nine drops of alcohol, shake it twice, then cork and mark 
it two. Then the third vial is to be treated like the last; 
and so on with the fourth, fifth, and the sixth. Now a 
drop of this sixth dilution is a dose, or rather a fraction 
of a drop of it is used to medicate small pellets, or is put 
into water, which again is divided into teaspoonfuls. 
How very simple ! Does the reader suspect any fallacy 
here? Can you tell, or even comprehend at once, how 
much, or rather how little, medicine there is in such a 
dose ? Look out, for there is fallacy in this deal ! 

That is, in the first dilution of one drop, or one grain, 
of the medicine, one drop contains the ^ of the original 
drop. Then one drop of this dilution added to the next 
vial forms the second dilution, so that one drop of this 
contains the i part of i, which is —^ part of a drop. 
The third dilution contains ^ part of the second, so that 

* Hahnemann's " Organon," page 222. 


one drop of it contains 1 J l)m part of the medicine drop. 
The fourth dilution contains the ^ part of the third, so 
that one drop of it contains m ^ m of the drop of medi- 
cine. The fifth dilution contains the i part of the 
fourth, so that one drop of it contains ^^'^^ part of the 
one drop of medicine. The sixth dilution contains the 
j55 part of the fifth, so that one drop of the sixth con- 
tain 5 the 1,000,0^,000,000 P art of the one dro P of medicine ! 

Can it be possible that any sane person who is 
honest and knows this fact would ever seriously pre- 
scribe such for the sick and suffering? In the process 
of these dilutions, suppose, instead of discarding ninety- 
nine one hundredths of each dilution in making the next 
higher dilution— that is, instead of taking one drop only 
from a vial containing one hundred drops — we take all 
the hundred drops and dilute each drop of them all, at the 
rate of one hundred times for each drop, we find we 
arrive at some very remarkable facts, as will be shown. 
Now if we proceed in this manner to the sixth dilution 
we find the one drop of medicine we began with dissolved 
in one trillion (1,000,000,000,000) drops of alcohol, which 
would be a bulk of liquid equal to 651,041,666 quarts, or 
3,014,081 hogsheads. Then as each drop of this bulk of 
liquid would be a homoeopathic dose we have here one 
trillion homoeopathic doses. In other words, the one drop 
of drug — as tincture of camomile — would furnish (accord- 
ing to homoeopathic theory and practice) about five hun- 
dred doses to each and every human being on the face of 
the earth. Of course it is needless to attract the attention 
of any intelligent person to the utter fallacy of any such 
practice. But think of their pretending to carry this 
diluting on to the tenth, twelfth, twentieth, or thirtieth, 


or even to the hundredth dilutions, and actually pre- 
scribing drop doses of such for the sick ! 

Whereas in fact it is well known by all our apothe- 
caries in Boston, and by the patients of the homceopathists 
who testify, that they resort to medicated suppositories 
and parvules in full strength, the same, only more fre- 
quently, than the regular physicians do. Indeed, the 
homoeopathic apothecary in Boston is now advertising 
for sale these medicated suppositories of full medicinal 
strength — as opium, one or two grains ; also belladonna, 
one grain, or half to one-quarter grain ; quinine, two 
grains ; creosote, five drops ; carbolic acid, one grain ; 
morphine, one-quarter grain ; iodoform, one grain. 

There is reason to believe that the homoeopathic people 
have not clearly understood or comprehended even that 
very low potency called the third, or they certainly 
would not be deceived by it, though they are directed 
by the homceopathists to make much use of it in domes- 
tic practice. This potency or dilution is used by all 
shades of homoeopathic practitioners, pure or partial, of 
high or of low potencies. What is true of this is true 
also of all their higher potencies. Therefore let us ex- 
amine this so as to clearly understand it. The third 
potency, the same as all the other potencies, is directed 
to be made in very small vials, and this is a blinder to be- 
gin with. For example, one drop of some herb tincture 
is first put into a little vial, and to this is added ninety- 
nine drops of strong alcohol, which makes the first dilu- 
tion. Then they take one drop from this one hundredth 
dilution and add to it one hundred drops of alcohol, 
then make certain shakings, when this becomes the second 
potency. Next they take one drop of this ten thousandth 
dilution and put it into another small vial and add one 
hundred drops of alcohol, as before, together with a cer- 



tain number of shakes, and no more, which constitutes 
the third dilution, called potency, according to the rule 
of Hahnemann and the modern homceopathists of all 
shades. This they do not deny. But do you notice that 
each time they throw away ninety-nine drops out of 
every one hundred, that is, ^ of it, that you hear no more 
about ? It would be the same if the dilutions were re- 
peated to the thirtieth or the three hundredth potency, 
you would hear only of the one hundred drops. 

Now the question is, are not the people deceived by 
this kind of manipulation? Do they realize that the first 
one drop of tincture is diluted in the third potency so as 
to be one million drops, or at the rate of two drops to a 
barrel of alcohol? But is this so ? If we multiply the 
first drop by one hundred, and then multiply this one 
hundred by one hundred, we get the second potency, 
which is ten thousand drops. If this is multiplied by 
one hundred we get the third potency, which is one 
million drops, when fairly and fully carried out so that 
you can see it. 

Then again if we reduce this by dividing the one mill- 
ion by sixty, because sixty drops make one drachm or 
teaspoonful, we see we have sixteen thousand six hun- 
dred and sixty-six drachms. If this is divided by eight, 
because eight drachms make one ounce, we see there are 
two thousand and eighty-three ounces. Then if we di- 
vide this by sixteen, because sixteen ounces make one 
pint or pound, we find we have one hundred and thirty 
pints. Then if we divide this by two, because two pints 
make one quart, we have sixty-five quarts. Divide this 
by four, because four quarts make one gallon, and we see 
we have sixteen gallons, or a half barrel of alcohol, in 
which, or at which rate, the original one drop of tincture 


is diluted, and which is termed the third potency. The 
dose of this is one drop, or a fraction of a drop ! 

Now suppose the whole of this dilution, called the 
third potency, were put into four large pails holding some 
five gallons each, or into a large tub holding some 
eighteen gallons, and it were carried into a large theatre, 
church, or music hall that contained three thousand peo- 
ple, and some homceopathist should prescribe three or 
four drops of this third potency to be put into a tumbler 
of water for each person in that audience, would there be 
enough to dose them all ? Or, rather, how much of it 
would be taken ? Why, that audience would have to be 
dismissed and the house refilled a great number of times 
before the original one drop is taken up ! In fact, there 
were one million doses, and would serve hundreds of 
thousands at that rate ! Every reader must see that 
this demonstration proves their utter folly and fallacy, 
for there is no appreciable medicine at all in a homoeo- 
pathic dose of the third potency. Then what about their 
sixth, tenth, twelfth, twentieth, and thirtieth potency? 
They are all similars, for there is no real medicine in any 
of them. It is a process that results in nonsense and fal- 

From the foregoing what conclusion can reason, logic, 
or common sense come to in regard to so much testi- 
mony from the homceopathists that they have cured 
thousands by such means ! Why, if pure vaccine should 
be treated to the third potency it would become inert 
and worthless, and the homoeopathic druggists and phy- 
sicians must know it. Do they ever try to cure small- 
pox by giving vaccine virus, third potency? Why not, 
if similia is a law, and the infinitesimal is real medicine ? 
No, the very virus of the small-pox itself, if the scab 
were triturated and diluted to the third potency and 


given homceopathically, would prove perfectly inert. 
If neither the third, nor the sixth, tenth, thirtieth, or 
three hundredth can affect the patient, because there is 
no medicine in any of them, what nonsense then for them 
to talk about " similia similibus curantur," or about won- 
derful cures, or about the spiritualized nature of diseases, 
or of totality of symptoms, or of any other part of their 
creed ? The key-stone of their arch is dropped out when 
we demonstrate that they dilute their medicine to 
death, and there is nothing of it left. To be sure, there 
would be real medicine, but of an unknown quantity, if, 
instead of using the attenuated dilutions they claim to 
employ, they should resort to a strong or saturated solu- 
tion of some powerful drug, as tartar emetic, corrosive 
sublimate, strychnine, nitroglycerine, aconitine, or atro- 
pine, and employ either of these to impregnate their 
larger pellets, or to use as drops ; or if they should take 
calomel, arsenic, antimony, or morphine, and triturate it in 
their tiny, tasteless, and white powders; for they could 
pass for homoeopathic medicines, especially if labelled 
Bell. Nux. Mercurius, etc. But this would be medi- 
cal jugglery, a false pretence, and dangerous deception. 
Is it possible any one could be so rash as to do this ? 
Then, whenever there is any medical effect, which horn 
of the dilemma do they take ? Or, rather, which is the 
most — reckless and dishonorable ? 

The homoeopathic " system " is therefore not only a 
myth ; it is a humbug and a delusion. The further we 
analyze it the more we must be convinced of its sophis- 
try. Here is an example where " a little learning is a 
dangerous thing." It is necessary to hold our attention 
to this subject until we see clear through "the potency," 
and can appreciate it ! If it has underlying merit let us 
find it and understand it, so as to believe with all our 



judgment ; or else reject it. Over forty years ago, in 
1 841, William Cullen Bryant, being a member of a ho- 
moeopathic society of propagandists, gave them an ora- 
tion, and apparently repeated or coined all the homoe- 
opathic " lingo," precisely as we hear it still. He said 
" the friends of this new practice maintain that this 
minute dose " of a given potency, "although powerful 
to remove disease when it coincides with it, may yet be 
given without danger when it does not. There is no 
necessity, therefore, of dwelling any longer on this 
point." But we here propose to dwell somewhat longer 
on this point, for there is necessity. No doubt the homce- 
opathists would like us to stop where Mr. Bryant did. 
Yet had he known as much about the absolute inertness 
of a " potency " as he knew about the beauty and power 
of poetry he never would have so committed himself to 
this ridiculous infinitesimal scheme. 

But we do not yet fairly estimate the dose of the sixth 
potency. We are not accustomed to think or speak of a 
thousand-billionth part of a drop. We do not readily 
comprehend it. Then let us place it on the blackboard, 
not as a proposition in algebra, but in simple arithmetic, 
so that the girls and boys may see if we calculate cor- 
rectly. To find how dilute the sixth homoeopathic dilu- 
tion, called " potency," is, we have only to multiply the 
first one hundred drops by one hundred, and so on to 
the sixth ; thus : — 



100 drops, 1st dilution. 

10,000 drops, 2d dilution. 

1,000,000 drops, 3d dilution. 

100,000,000 drops, 4th dilution. 

10,000,000,000 drops, 5th dilution. 

60 drops make one 

drachm : 60)1,000,000,000,000 drops, 6th dilution. 

8 drachms one 
ounce : 

16 ounces one 
pint : 

8)16,666,666,666 drachms. 

16)2,083,333,333 ounces. 

16 2)1,302,083,333 pints. 



4)651,041,666 quarts. 






120)162,760,416 gallons. 

120 (1,356,336 large hogsheads 











Thus we find the sixth dilution or potency the one 
drop is diluted in, and at the rate of, is one million three 
hundred fifty-six thousand three hundred thirty-six large 
hogsheads of water or alcohol! The above figures prove 
this to be so. Then how utterly absurd ! Moreover, just 
think of a homceopathist prescribing for the sick and suffer- 
ing their tenth, twelfth, twentieth, or thirtieth dilutions, 
which they term " potency," as if powerful ! It can be 
only a powerful fallacy. 

Think of 1,356,336 large hogsheads of fluid with the 
one homceopathic drop lost in it, and then pretend that a 
drop of this great dilution is a dose of medicine for a 
seriously sick person ! Suppose this one-drop solution 
of over a million hogsheads in bulk was contained in a 
great reservoir, whose depth and diameter to the surface 
of the liquid are equal, and then the perpendicular sides 
of the reservoir are still higher by many feet, and you 
should fall into it; would you not see yourself lost? 
Suppose ninety-nine men and women also fell in with you, 
would not all of you be drowned if no one came to your 
rescue ? But a professor in the homceopathic school con- 
tended with me lately that the drop diluted in the fifth 
and sixth potency is not lost, but only " potentized." 
It is my belief, that if he should fall into such a homoe- 
opathic reservoir he would find himself sufficiently poten- 
tized to call for help. I am sure we would lend a help- 
ing hand to rescue many a homceopathic teacher or prac- 
titioner out of this diluted drop, hoping that the great 
dilution, so taken, would cure him of the nonsense of 
the sixth potency and of all homceopathy. 

Again, if you should politely ask for a tumbler of milk 
because you felt sick and faint from long want of food 
and from fatigue, and some one should get it, but first pour 
it into a large cistern of water and stir it well, telling you 



that that was done to potentize it — that is, make it 
stronger — and then should dip out a tumblerful of the 
water — no, only one drop of it, and offer it to you, 
would you accept it? You certainly would call it a joke, 
or an insult. But suppose a person is seriously sick, and 
confidingly asks for some remedy, how then ? The 
greatest and truest of all physicians, Jesus Christ, said, 
by way of illustrating a great principle, " If a son shall 
ask bread of any of you that is a father, will you give 
him a stone?" — that is, give him a false loaf? Need 
we do more to dissect and analyze the " infinitesimal," 
and show up the certainty of the lost condition of homce- 
opathy, provided it is made thoroughly known? It is 
inevitable that whatever is not based on truth, but, on 
the contrary, has truth, humanity, philosophy, and sci- 
ence all against it, must some time collapse and pass 

Hahnemann says, " Desirous of employing a certain 
rule for the development of powers in liquid medicines I 
have been led by experience and observation to prefer 
two, instead of repeated strokes of succession for each 
vial, since the latter method tended to potentize the 
medicine too highly. ... I dissolved one grain of soda in 
half an ounce of water mixed with a little alcohol con- 
tained in a vial, two-thirds of which it filled ; after shak- 
ing this solution uninterruptedly for half an hour it was 
equal in potency and efficiency to the thirtieth develop- 
ment of strength." " Our vital force, that spirit-like 
dynamics, cannot be reached nor affected except by a 
spirit-like (dynamic) process, resulting from the hurtful 
influences of hostile agencies from the outer world acting 
upon the healthy organism. Neither can the physician 
free the vital force from any of these morbid disturb- 
ances, i.e., diseases, except by spirit-like (dynamic) alter- 



ative powers of the appropriate remedies acting upon our 
spirit-like vital force."* 

Commenting on these notions Prof. Smythe f says: 
"According to the ' Organon,' disease consists of a dis- 
ordered condition of the spirit-like force of the body, 
which manifests itself by certain disordered sensations or 
symptoms, the totality of which constitutes the disease 
or thing to be treated. Hahnemann thus elevates his 
pathology above anything material, and places it upon 
the same hypothetical plane with his remedies. This 
transcendental pathology is emphatically insisted upon in 
the ' Organon,' as can be shown by a few quotations from 
Wesselhoeft's translation of Hahnemann's principal work. 
So much importance is attached to this belief in the non- 
entity of disease that the homoeopaths attempted to ob- 
literate the very names of diseases as used by regular 
physicians ; for in speaking of any particular case they 
would not say the patient had rheumatism, gout, or 
typhoid fever, but would proceed to enumerate the ' to- 
tality of symptoms,' as the proper thing to do ; and they 
discouraged investigation into the causes of disease. 
Then to effect a true homoeopathic cure an artificial drug- 
disease must be substituted ; that is, produced by med- 
icine which must be similar to, but stronger than, the 
natural disease." 

Quoting still from the " Organon " — " The solid med- 
icines are in the first place exalted in energy by attenu- 
ation in the form of powder, by means of trituration, in 
a mortar (with sugar), to the third or millionth degree. 
One grain of this millionth is then to be dissolved, and so 
brought through twenty-seven vials, by a process similar 

* Hahnemann's " Organon," p. 221. 

t Smythe on " Medical Heresies," p. 102. 


I 9 7 

to that employed in the case of vegetable juices, up to 
the thirtieth development of power." 

Directions: "The best mode of administration is to 
make use of small globules of sugar the size of mustard 
seed ; one of these globules, having imbibed the medicine 
and being introduced into some water, forms a dose, 
which contains about a three-hundredth part of a drop of 
the potentized dilution, for three hundred of such glob- 
ules will imbibe one drop of alcohol ; or, placing one of 
these globules on the tongue, and not drinking after it." 
Bear in mind that Hahnemann's " Organon," giving these 
directions, is still the first in the list of text-books in all 
homoeopath schools at the present time. 

Hahnemann and his present followers claim, then, that 
medicines during the process of successive dilutions and 
agitations have imparted to them a spirit-like power 
which is not possessed by them as material agents ; and 
that this potentiality is increased by the number of shak- 
ings, as well as by the number of successive dilutions. 
Hahnemann teaches explicitly that homoeopathic medi- 
cines act by their spirit-like power only, and not as physi- 
cal agencies, and that diseases, being only of a spirit-like 
nature, cannot be reached in any other way than by a so- 
called dynamic or spirit-like force. One is ready to cry 
out, Can it be possible that such preposterous ideas, 
exceeding old alchemy, can continue to be seriously en- 
tertained by any intelligent rational person in these 

Homoeopathy is, then, a medical sect based on a so- 
called system of laws, which they claim are universal, 
invariable, and fixed; and these classify it as a distinct 
and exclusive sect, " system," and school, as the homoeo- 
paths themselves declare and desire to be known. Their 
first great law is, similia similibus curantur; or, in plain 



English, " like cures like." This being their first great 
law, the second is the " infinitesimal dose," which is to be 
made by certain successive dilutions, — a certain rule first 
laid down by Hahnemann. These are accepted and ad- 
hered to by all homoeopathic teachers and practitioners 
as the two fundamental laws, upon which, when taken to- 
gether, hangs all that pertains to homoeopathy. In fact, 
they constitute homoeopathy. Of course, the "like" 
selected medicine necessitates the small dose, but when 
that dose is still further made "infinitesimal" it is peculiar 
to homoeopathy, and is inseparable from it. Hahnemann 
did not believe or recognize an actual material pathology, 
a sick or diseased physiology, as causing, attending, or 
being produced by the given disease, " but only spirit- 
like aberrations, which are manifested by sensations or 
symptoms and actions." * " The causes of our dis- 
eases cannot be material ones." " It is impossible to 
admit the existence of material morbific matter in the 

" In sickness, this spirit-like self-acting (automatic) 
vital force that is omnipresent in the organism is alone 
primarily deranged by the spirit-like (dynamic) influence 
of some morbific agency inimical to life. Only this ab- 
normally modified vital force can excite morbid sensa- 
tions in the organism, and determine the abnormal func- 
tional activity which we call disease. This force, itself 
invisible, becomes perceptible only by its effects,.... 
that is, by symptoms of disease in the visible material 

It may be said that the homoeopathic teachers and 
practitioners do not now endorse or employ the higher 
potencies. To show that they do, I here again quote, 
not from a rare book, but from the " Homoeopathic Do- 

* Hahnemann's " Organon,'' p. 23 ; also p. 68. 


mestic Physician," by J. H. Pulte, M.D., of Cincinnati, 
Ohio ; twelfth edition : — 

" Notice to homoeopathic pharmaceutists. It will be 
seen, by reference to the list of medicines, that one 
remedy only appears indicated there, in two different po- 
tencies, viz., Belladonna (low potency) and belladonna 00, 
the two hundredth potency. This distinction should be 
strictly adhered to, as in the body of the work special 
reference is made to this fact. Yet another wish is here 
expressed, which, it is hoped, may be realized by the 
pharmaceutists who now serve the wants of the increas- 
ing multitudes of homoeopathic patrons in this country." 
It is this : — 

" Every pharmaceutist should possess himself of a 
complete set of reliable higher potencies, so as to be able 
to supply the wants of the people when asked for. We 
can safely recommend for this purpose the following from 
among those named in the list of medicines, as designed 
to be contained in the cases or boxes accompanying this 

" List of medicines to be furnished in the higher poten- 
cies, if so desired: Arsenic, Calearia carb. (carbonate of 
lime*), Cantharis. (Spanish fly), Carbo-veg (wood char- 
coal), Causticum (potash), Cina (worm-seed), Coffea. (cof- 
fee berries), Colocynthis, Coniuvi (hemlock), Cuprum (cop- 
per), Graphites (black lead), Ignatia (a bean), Jalapa, Kali 
hydriod. (hydriodate of potash), Lachesis (the poison of 
snakes), Lycopod. (club moss), Mercur. sublima. corros. 
(corrosive sublimate), Natrum mur. (table salt), Petrol., 
Phosphor., Platina, Sepia (the inky juice of the cuttle fish), 
Silieea (silicious earth), Stannum (tin), Sulphur. These 
are the most important of those which show better re- 
sults in the higher than in the lower potencies. All the 

* These parentheses, for explanation, are added by the author. 


others may be furnished, as heretofore, in the third and 
sixth potency." Hahnemann and homceopathists still 
divide all their medicines for further dilution, strong and 
weak alike, into one drop, or one grain each, whether it be 
arsenic or coffee ; corrosive sublimate, calomel, or clam 
shell; lachesis or lycopodium ; belladonna or camomile; 
table salt or the stings of bees. How admirable ! 

" It will be seen that in the addressed fiotice to homoe- 
opathic pharmaceutists on the foregoing page," says 
Dr. Pulte, " they were expected to furnish such reme- 
dies as I named, in the higher potency, if desired by the 
people. As a great many have their medicine-chests 
yet filled with medicines of a low potency it was not 
deemed desirable to designate this change in the 'list of 
medicines' by adding the letters ce ' to the names of such 
remedies as we would like to see used in that high de- 
gree. Each one can exercise his own judgment on the 
subject, and if he wants to follow our advice he can ask 
of his pharmaceutist for these remedies in the higher 
potency, and he will find them very effective. As to 
our views on the preference of the higher or the lower 
attenuations, we would remark that we consider homce- 
opathically legitimate and practically useful all poten- 
cies, from the mother tincture and first trituration up to 
the highest dilution." The cc ' implies the two hundredth 
centesimal dilution and high potency. But there is no 
medicine there, hence all the past testimony of its great 
usefulness is a complete fallacy. 

Yet on page 554,* under the head of Convulsions, 
Spasms, or Fits, in prescribing for convulsions from 
teething he says: "Give Coffea and Bella. cc - in alterna- 
tion, every ten minutes, two globules ; these are gener- 

* " Homoeopathic Domestic Physician," by J. H. Pulte, M.D., p. 554, 
1 2th ed. 


ally sufficient to allay an attack of this kind." Again, 
under the head of Softening of the Stomach, on page 
571, he says : " Secalc corn, is the specific in all its stages. 
Other remedies, such as Tartar emet., Bryonia, Hellebore, 
Arsenic, Phosphor., etc., may arrest its progress ; but none 
has such a complete control over it as Secale, when it is 
in the thirtieth potency — ten pellets or globules dis- 
solved in water, of which a teaspoonful should be given 
every two or three hours." But there certainly is not a 
particle of medicine there, and every intelligent homce- 
opathist ought to know it. 

What is Homoeopathic Practice? 

" But one law of cure has ever been established, and 
that is similia similibus curantur :* Let us briefly exam- 
ine this law, which we may do by answering the ques- 
tion, What is Homoeopathy ? The disturbance created in 
the human system by morbific causes produces in the 
organism a mass of symptoms which represent the act- 
ual malady or disease. The object of the medicine, then, 
is to annihilate these symptoms, for in doing which the 
internal change on which the disease is founded is also 
removed." Suppose we try to smooth the waves of the 
sea, will that overpower the gale and stop the wind from 

" There is a law by which we are to be guided in the 
removal of disease, as immutable and unchangeable as the 
laws which govern the heavenly bodies. No cure can 
be performed unless in obedience with this law of ho- 
moeopathy, from which if we depart we embarrass instead 
of aiding nature in its operations. A medicine taken 

* Guernsey's " Homoeopathic Practice," pp. 564-566, 8th edition, pub. by 
Otis Clapp, Boston. 


into the healthy system produces a certain disturbance, 
which gives rise to a peculiar class of symptoms. In 
other words, a disease is produced by artificial means." 
But will it be something like a typhoid fever, an inflam- 
matory, nervous, or bilious fever, or diabetis, pericar- 
ditis, gastritis, pneumonia, pleurisy, a diphtheria, or con- 
sumption ? — any disease, or assemblage of symptoms, to 
order ? " Now where a disease is produced by other 
causes, with symptoms similar in every respect to those 
produced by the drug, we of course conclude that there 
is a similar internal change, in fact, a like disease to that 
developed by artificial means. If, then, we give this 
drug it is evident we produce an artificial disease. But 
these affections cannot exist together in the human 
system, for the more intense ox powerful one will destroy 
the weaker. If, then, we produce with our drug an arti- 
ficial affection a little more intense or powerful than 
the old one, that is, the disease we are treating, we of 
course demolish the old intruder and expel it from the 
system." How easy, and how simple! If it were only 
true ! But observe the numerous assumptions and asser- 
tions. They equal the old alchemist in his summings-up. 
"Of course the remedy must be given unmixed with 
any other and be allowed to produce its specific effects. 
The drug given must cover, or be capable of producing 
in health, not one symptom alone, but the entire group." 
Not so easy after all. For if we should take several rem- 
edies and begin by giving one only to each of a dozen 
people, and tell them to " prove" it, and then report to 
us a list of some twenty of the most prominent homoe- 
opathic symptoms produced — that is, both the grave and 
the trivial — how many schedules out of each set would 
be alike ? Not two, if it were tried a hundred times 
over. Then, also, what about that greater intensity of 



disease prodiiced by the homoeopathic dose that is to 
" overpower " and ' ' expel " the old intruder, the disease ? 
The fact is, there is no medicine there if the dose is a 
true homoeopathic potency, of the fifth, cr sixth, or tenth 
potency. Nor is there any similia if there is no medicine. 
Here is the rub. Then what about the wonderful evi- 
dences of cures? As a physician, I declare there is no 
medicine in any such homoeopathic dose unless surrepti- 
tiously put there. In that case it is not honest homoeop- 
athy. All this shall be proved before we get through 
with this examination. Mark, the real issue and offence 
is the jugglery of " potency " or dose, not as to similars, 
for that is of little or no importance either way. It is 
the sham, the pretence, the quackery, that we as physi- 
cians object to. 

" The Dose, and its repetitions. — No definite rule can 
be given for all cases. As a general thing in acute dis- 
eases, excepting young children, tinctures and the low po- 
tencies should be used, while in chronic cases more benefit 
may be derived from the higher attenuations. I am sat- 
isfied that in domestic practice the lower attenuations 
may be used with much greater safety than the higher." * 
But how preposterous ! Yet this is in accordance with the 
doctrine of homoeopathy — the greater the dilutions the 
greater "the dynamic strength." There are some that 
argue and try to show that the worse is the better part ; 
others still, that wrong is right, and that black is white, 
and there are those who believe them. Better had it been 
if all such doctrine and practice had been left in the dark 
ages, when many of the people, learned and unlearned, 
believed more in alchemy than in plain facts ; more in the 
wonderful "exaltation" of horrid medicines, made of 
snakes, ants, worms, and toads, to become cures for dis- 

* See Guernsey's " Homoeopathic Practice," Sth edition, pp. 13-15. 



eases, and in the mysterious pretenders of " potencies " 
for discovering the elixir of life. 

" In my own practice," says the author, " I have gen- 
erally confined myself to the tinctures and the potencies 
ranging from the first to the twelfth dilution, more fre- 
quently giving the third, sixth, or twelfth attenuation. 
.... If the triturations are used, the size of the dose 
should be about as much as could be taken up on a three- 
cent piece, or taken up by the point of a knife. The 
remedy should be placed dry on the tongue, and left 
there to dissolve. If the tinctures are used, one drop 
may be put in a tumbler of water, and if for a child or a 
susceptible person give a teaspoonful for a dose. If too 
strong, producing aggravation of symptoms, use only a 
teaspoonful of this solution to a tumbler of water." So 
the people are taught that about the one sixtieth of a 
drop is more simple and safe than the one millionth of a 
drop ! How very wonderful ! Yet there are some people 
who believe it ! 

Homoeopathists claim that each medicine must be given 
by itself. In the work we have last quoted from, on page 
364, we find that for certain pains " arnica should be 
given first, followed by pulsatilla, after three or four 
doses. If relief is not found and the pains are severe, 
with restlessness, nux-v. and camomile may be given al- 
ternately ; secale and cuprum may be taken alternated 
where the pains are violent : dose, two drops in a tumbler 
of water, a tablespoonful once in one or two hours, or 
six globules on the tongue in the same intervals. " Thus 
several very different medicines, so-called, are put in very 
fast. On page 257, " for pains affecting several teeth at 
once :— Cham. Merc. Rhus. Staphysagra ; if with face or 
gums swelled : Am. Cham. Mure. Puis. Sep. Sulph. Aur. 
Bell. Brion " — if not all at once, yet in such proximity, if 


the toothache is severe, as to remind us of the story of 
the cup of tea, into which some vinegar chanced to fall 
by accident, when the quaint old man said, " Never mind, 
it is all the same, excepting the taste, to mix it in the 
teacup or in the stomach." 

For chills and fever do the homceopathists rely on the 
third, sixth, or thirtieth potency? On page 51 Guernsey 
says : " Ten grains of quinine may be triturated with twice 
the amount of white sugar and made into ten powders, 
one of which can be taken every three hours ; or five 
grains may be dissolved in ten spoonfuls of water, and a 
tablespoonful taken in the same way, avoiding the parox- 
ysms. Even if it should not return, a powder should still 
be given every day for five or six days. In addition to 
the above one of the following well selected — arsen., 
nitx-v., ignatia, Ipic. — will then produce a speedy cure." 
Which, the homoeopathic remedies or the quinine, will 
cure? Observe the sophistry. Grain doses of quinine, 
or eight grains in twenty-four hours, are appreciable 
doses and efficient medicine ; but where is the infini- 
tesimal dose of great potency? He says, " Copavia may 
be given in certain cases, a powder of the tenth, four 
times a day; or, what is better, one of the copavia cap- 
sules, obtained at the druggist's, given morning, noon, 
and at night." 

Homoeopathic Provings, showing the Similia Remedy. 

Pulsatilla figures very frequently as a homoeopathic 
remedy of great importance. What is it ? They call it 
the pasque flower. It is one of the anemonies or wind- 
flowers, so-called because it is said its flowers do not open 
until the wind blows them open. This marvellous Pulsa- 
tilla belongs to the order Ranunculaceae. The herb and 


flowers are quite poisonous, acrid, and corrosive. The 
so-called homoeopathic " provings " accept it as the cure 
for a wide range of symptoms.* " Especially adapted to 
female derangements, or to persons of gentle disposition, 
who easily laugh or weep, with disposition to catarrh, and 
of lymphatic constitutions ; for chronic difficulties arising 
from abuse of sulphur-water, quinine, camomile, or mer- 
cury ; also in disarranged stomach, produced by greasy 
food ; bad effects from fright or shame ; rheumatic or 
arthritic affections, nervous difficulties, etc.; measles and 
their secondary ailments, itching, eruptions, and ulcers ; 
chilblains, swelling, and heat ; restless sleep, full of anx- 
ious and frightful dreams." Also for the cure of — - 

" Intermittent fever, where thirst is only during the hot 
stage ; acute fevers ; dizziness, as if intoxicated, especially 
in the evening, after dinner, or when sitting ; heaviness 
of the head on stooping ; headache on moving the eyes ; 
hemicrania, sometimes with vomiting ; aching pain on 
stooping ; lacerating or beating headache ; also headache 
from overloading the stomach, or from intoxication ; 
pressure in the eyes, as from sand, with inflammation and 
corrosive tears ; swelling of the lids, stye, or dimness of 
sight; inflammation of the ears ; starting and stinging pain 
in the ear ; swelling in and below the ear ; noise in the ear, 
as of water, or a crackling sound." Also for the cure of — 

" Rheumatic toothache ; toothache from a cold, accom- 
panied with pain in the ear; drawing, gnawing tooth- 
ache, coming on when eating or taking anything warm 
into the mouth ; nausea, with disposition to vomit ; vom- 
iting ; sour or bitter eructations ; water-brash ; vomiting 
after a meal ; pain in the stomach during an inspiration, 
or on pressure ; pains, cutting or lacerating; nausea after 

* Guernsey's " Homoeopathic Practice," 8th edition, p. 621. Pub. by Otis 



eating fat food ; abdominal spasms, especially in pregnant 
females ; colic, aggravated by motion ; flatulent colic ; 
painful sensitiveness of the bowels ; constipation ; watery 
diarrhoea, or if consisting of a mucous, green, or slimy 
substance ; dysenteric diarrhoea, or after measles ; blind 
or bleeding haemorrhoids ; drawing or tensive pains from 
the abdomen, resembling labor pains ; derangement of 
the menses, or if with pain, colic, nausea, vomiting, 
and headache." Also for the cure of — 

" Catarrhal huskiness of the chest ; dry night-cough, 
relieved on sitting up, but aggravated on lying down ; 
cough with bitter, yellow, or bloody expectoration, at- 
tended with pain in the chest, or vomiting; difficulty of 
breathing, especially at night in bed, and in cold air; con- 
gestion of blood to the chest ; constructive sensation, and 
sticking pain in the chest, especially at night ; swelling 
and rheumatic pains in the nape of the neck, also in the 
back and extremities ; drawing and jerking pains, or 
trembling in the limbs ; swelling of the knee with pain." 
What a marvellous remedy ! Scarcely an individual man 
or woman but has some one of these symptoms every 
day; then how handy! But suppose there is no medi- 
cine, no pulsatilla there ? If the pellets are of the third 
potency, or higher, there certainly is none ; then where 
is the "evidence" of provings or remedial effect except 
in the imagination ? . . . . Here are omitted a list of 
names of diseases not proper to be mentioned. But let 
us examine another of their " powerful " remedies. 

" Carbo-veg" (common wood charcoal) " is the remedy 
for intermittent fever;* also for rheumatic, drawing, or 
bruised sensation in the limbs and joints, or attacks of 
weakness or vertigo ; general prostration ; nettle rash ; 
chilblains; granular and lymphatic swellings; herpes; 

* See Guernsey's " Homoeopathic Practice," 8th edition, page 586. 


itching eruptions; unhealthy ulcers; fetid smells; drowsi- 
ness ; sleeplessness ; pain in the head ; fever, with chilli- 
ness, beating in the temples, lacerating pains in the bones 
and limbs ; last stage of typhoid fever ; collapse of pulse ; 
morning or night sweats ; heaviness in the head ; beating 
or pulsating headache ; congestion to the head ; swelling 
and ulceration of the nose ; bleeding at the nose ; violent 
coryza ; stoppage of the nose ; chapped lips ; eruptions on 
the face ; looseness and aching pains in the teeth ; sore- 
ness of the gums ; rawness of the throat ; sore throat after 
the measles ; loss of appetite ; nausea ; waterbrash ; spasms 
in the stomach; pain in the liver, as if bruised; stitches 
and lacerating pain in the liver ; swelling of the abdo- 
men, or aching, rumbling pains, . . . constipation ; burn- 
ing diarrhoea ; bloody stools; tenesmus; piles; ascarides 
in the rectum ; hoarseness; cough, dry and hard, or with 
purulent expectoration or soreness in the chest; for 
whooping-cough, consumption," etc., etc. Considerable 
work to be done by not more than an invisible particle 
of charcoal dust, if any — not even by a good teaspoon- 
ful ; but by the one millionth part of a grain ! Can seri- 
ous thought consider this anything but trifling alike with 
simple ills and dangerous sicknesses, and the credulity of 
confiding friends? 

" Lachesis, the poison of the lance-headed viper,* for 
the abuse of mercury or the effects of intoxications; 
also in severe and protracted fevers ; nervous disorders ; 
for erysipelas ; also in various diseases where there is a 
sinking of the vital powers or tendency to suppuration 
or mortification ; great weakness of body ; paralysis ; 
hemiplegia; convulsions; rigidity of the limbs; ulcers, 
with fetid discharges; melancholy; insanity, with ten- 
dency to suspicion or malice, or for fulness and dulness 
* See Guernsey's " Homoeopathic Practice," page 609. 


of the head; weakness of the memory; difficulty to 
think; apoplectic fits, with distortion of face ; dizziness ; 
daily headaches, with languor; loss of appetite; head- 
ache from heat of the sun, or after a cold, or daily in the 
morning ; pulsating in the head ; twinkling before the 
eyes ; inflammation of the eyes or eyelids, or ulcers on 
the cornea ; soreness in the ears or nose, with discharge 
of yellow matter and blood ; lockjaw ; toothache ; swell- 
ing of the gums ; salivation ; paralysis of the tongue after 
apoplexy; difficulty of speech; soreness or gangrene of 
the tongue ; burning pain in the throat, with redness, 
ulceration, etc.; nausea ; vomiting, especially of drunk- 
ards . . . . ; swelling and induration of the glands ; dis- 
tended and hard abdomen ; inflammation or abscess of 
the liver; chronic constipation ; alternate constipation 
and diarrhoea; swelling and pains in the larynx; cough, 
with ulcers in the throat; affections of the heart," etc. 

Wonder if this venom is taken from the fang of the 
copper-head, the rattlesnake, or the adder? They all 
are lance-headed. The old alchemists always specified 
what kind and condition of snake was to be chosen for 
" exaltation " into medicine. (See the prescriptions in 
Alchemy.) When we think of the homoeopathist in these 
days prescribing apis, or sting of bees ; or lachesis, the 
poison of a South American snake, we are reminded of 
the old story of Meg Merrilies. When she offered the 
honest dominie some of her devil's broth, and he hesitated 
to take it, she said, " Gape, sinner, and swallow it." 

In 1877 Dr. Wild, Vice-president of the British Homoe- 
opathic Society, wrote to Dr. B. W. Richardson as fol- 
lows:* " First, it is true that the views of Hahnemann are 
often extreme and incorrect. Second, that Hippocrates 
was right when he said that some diseases can be treated 

* London Lancet, 1877. 


best by contraries and some by similars ; therefore it is 
unwise and incorrect to assume the title of homceopa- 
thist. Third, that although many believe the action of 
the infinitesimal in nature can be demonstrated, its use 
in medicine is practically, by a large number in this coun- 
try, all but abandoned." 

Therefore Hahnemann did not discover the law of simi- 
lia, as he claimed, for it was on record two thousand 
years before his time, in connection with other such rules 
or sayings. Nor was he the first to " test " medicines on 
the healthy. That had been tried and repeated ages 
before. Haller, the great physiologist, also made much 
of " testing " the action of medicines in healthy persons 
to find out their physiological effects ; but as many med- 
icines act differently in disease from what they do in the 
healthy, and again differently in very small doses from 
what they do in full doses, but little was gained by these 
experiments. Hahnemann was well aware of these ex- 
tensive "testings" by Haller, for he quotes him in his 
work ; yet in his system of homceopathy he claims to be 
the first to so test drugs, and then goes on beyond small 
doses and builds his theory and practice on the "infini- 
tesimal " doses — that is, not medicinal doses, but assumed 
spirit-like or "potentized" doses — to suit his assumed 
pathology of " spirit-like aberration " in the human body, 
which may be fairly termed the third phase of alchemy. 

I will here quote the following sensible remarks of a 
doubtful homoeopath, found in the Homoeopathic Times of 
January, 1878. 

" In my judgment, we have sufficient evidence to 
warrant us in the belief that many diseases are removed 
when drugs are administered, which, if taken by a person 
in health, would produce certain morbid conditions, in 
contradistinction to the host of symptoms gathered from 


the patient ' by provings ' which are as likely to be im- 
aginary as real, and the result of fancy as from medi- 
cine ; for we all know that no two persons will give us 
the same account of their sensations and sufferings, even 
though they may be the subjects of the same identical 
disease in every particular, so far as we can determine. 
So that any system of medication that proposes to use 
drugs which in their minute details resemble the endless 
phases of diseased action, lays down a proposition utter- 
ly repugnant to common sense ; for the man who is 
ready to avow that he understands the complications of 
disease, and can interpret all its mysterious development, 
so that he could apply the most attenuated atom to a 
remote organ, passing as it must through the compli- 
cated mechanism of the human body, which in itself is 
the epitome of the universe, should be declared by all 
men of thought either a knave or a fool." 

The above writer expresses our opinion very nearly, 
and having this opinion and seeing the evil consequences 
of the homoeopathic faction, I am here trying to explain 
as best I can the real workings of the homoeopathic " sys- 
tem." He says, too, that he believes that many diseases 
are cured when drugs are administered , so do I ; but the 
homoeopaths only suppose or pretend to give medicine 
when they prescribe those globules of the third or higher 
potency, for in the third there is nothing there but the 
one hundredth or three hundredth part of a drop of the 
one millionth part of one drop of the tincture. 

The real efficacy of any homoeopathic medicine pre- 
pared by their rule, from the third to the thirtieth potency, 
and administered in the manner they direct, cannot be sus- 
tained on any rational principle. Those who have really 
made intelligent and thorough examinations of these so- 
called medicines, doses, and provings must and do ad- 


mit this. Those who believe in homoeopathy, says Pro- 
fessor Palmer,* " do so on the evidence of the statements 
of others, or from the supposed effects which have been 
observed during the treatment of cases of disease by 
the homoeopath. But it is well known that very many, 
if not all, professed homoeopathic practitioners often give 
actual medicines in appreciable doses, and not at all 
according to their exclusive ' universal law of cure.' 
Thus the real relief afforded and cure effected by them 
may not have been in the least due to the homoeopathic 
doses," — though the people are left to suppose it to be 
the effect of homoeopathy. 

"The system of homoeopathy has been urged for the 
past eighty years, and up to the present time three 
generations of medical men have come and gone, while 
not one educated physician out of a hundred the world 
over has expressed views favorable to this exclusive 
dogma and sect of the homceopathists. On the con- 
trary, the great body of scientific medical men every- 
where, and almost all those of acknowledged eminence 
in the world of science, have denounced the Hahnemann 
'system ' as the most arrant nonsense. The people who 
support it are for the most part certainly ignorant of 
its real character. Homoeopathy lias no position in the 
world of science. In Europe, where it first originated, in 
Germany, France, and England, the great body of those 
best qualified to judge speak of this system of doctrines 
now as a dream of the past, and of its practice as char- 
latanism and deception, while its professional adherents 
are not admitted as physicians to any professional asso- 
ciations. The homoeopathy of to-day is no science ; not 
even a dogma — only just a trade." 

In the North American Journal of Homoeopathy of 
*See North American Review, March, 1882. 



November, 1883, is an article on homoeopathic practice, 
where triturations of the sixth potency are employed in- 
stead of solutions. " Fever. — I have repeatedly demon- 
strated the efficacy of Ferri phos., sixth trituration. I 
have given it in the hypercemic stage of inflammation, in- 
different as to the organ involved, and regardless of the 
cause, and always with satisfactory result. I use it thus in 
the prevention cf traumatic fever. In the second stage of 
inflammation, the chief remedy is Potassium chloride. 
In the third stage there is a loss of the Calsium sulphate in 
the molecules of the tissues, and we give that salt accord- 
ingly. Diphtheria. — I was called to attend a child, aged 
six years, and found a case of fully developed diphtheria. 
I gave a powder of the sixth trituration of the Potass, 
chloride every two hours. The following day all the 
conditions were improved ; this remedy was continued 
alone for four days, and the child fully recovered on 
Calcis. carb. " — ordinary clam shell. 

" Scarlatinal Dropsy. — After giving Apis, Arsenicum, 
and Digitalis, which failed me utterly, I prescribed So- 
dium sulph. Twenty grains of the sixth trituration was 
dissolved in a gill of water, and teaspoonful doses were 
given every two hours. In twenty-four hours the child 
improved, .... and made a quick recovery with this 
remedy alone. Diabetis : a case of diabetis mellitus of 
six months' standing. — I treated by giving Sodium phos., 
sixth trituration, with entire relief of acidity in the prima 
vis in two weeks, and prescribed for the next four weeks 
Calc. phos. sixth trituration, ten grains night and morning, 
with restrictions to diabetic diet." But who that under- 
stands the nature of such diseases and the effects of medi- 
cines can believe the foregoing statements ? Yet they are 
published as examples of homoeopathic practice and effi- 



Suppose the foregoing writer had said he put to sea 
on a plank one foot wide and twelve feet long, and had a 
very pleasant voyage, and arrived in Liverpool, England, 
in two weeks, safe and sound. Who that knows any- 
thing of the Atlantic Ocean, and the distance to Liver- 
pool, and the mere raft of a plank, would believe the 
statement? Where should we classify such statement, 
with facts and truth, or with fallacy and falsehood ? We 
must conclude, at least, that all the facts are not told 
exactly as they were, — that the plank was a vessel, or 
that a steamer took him in tow or on board ; or that 
the putting to sea meant merely pushing off the raft 
from a pier to cross the water in a slip of the dock to 
another pier, which he called Liverpool ; or that it was 
not a truthful statement, and that if taken literally and 
in sober earnest the two sets of statements are alike 
unreasonable and impossible. Any and every thorough 
chemist will tell you that there is not a particle of active 
medicine in any sixth homoeopathic "dilution" or " trit- 
uration." That none can be found by the polariscope, 
nor by any other most delicate test known to science. 
No, nor in one thousand of their doses of it. If the 
patient should happen to take one thousand doses at once 
of the Sodium sulph. trituration, sixth potency (glauber 
salts), he would not feel the least effect from the medi- 

Finally, we must see clearly that homoeopathy, an old 
conglomeration of sophistry and a mere dogma, still 
lingers among us because it is not and has not been fully 
and fairly understood. And here is my apology, not for 
writing up the long line of old-school dogmatics, nor for 
writing on homoeopathy and analyzing it, but for giving 
it so much space ; for examining it so in detail, that the 
common people may see and become aware of this great 



mysterious fallacy or quackery. It is high time that it 
should be known by its true name and classification. 

Professional honor is smirched and etiquette becomes 
hypocrisy when we continue to positively or even pas- 
sively condone or countenance that for which we cannot 
have the least respect. The " system " of homoeopathy, 
like the " system " of Mormonism, has a mysterious fas- 
cination ; both have many proselyters, who are industrious 
and successful. It is a mysterious excrescence, hydatid, 
or monstrosity of a dogma that ought to have died as 
soon as it was born — long ago. Plausible as the state- 
ments of homoeopathists may sound at first to the un- 
skilled ear, we see it will not stand in the presence of 
science or modern philosophy ; nor will it bear a mo- 
ment's serious examination in the presence of common 
sense. In fact and effect it is a network of fallacy from 
beginning to end, which is the mildest thing that can be 
said of it. Therefore many people need to unlearn what 
they had supposed refined truth in regard to it, and so 
rid themselves and their children from this false guide 
and pusillanimous escort that has been offering aid 
through the most dangerous passages of life ! 

In speaking of honiceopathy, Sir James Simpson, of 
Edinburgh, said : "Surely common sense and common 
sanity both dictate to the human mind that it is utterly 
impossible that any such homoeopathic dose, from any 
such conceivable ocean of dilution, medicated by a single 
drop, or a grain, of any drug dissolved and mixed in it, 
can have any possible effect upon the human body, either 
in health or disease. We can but conclude with Dr. 
Forbes, that in rejecting homoeopathy we are discarding 
what is at once false and bad — useless to the suffering 
and degrading to the physician." We cannot but con- 
clude with Simpson, Forbes, Trousso, Oliver Wendell 


Holmes, and thousands of other learned physicians who 
have examined homoeopathy that it is not simiha that 
mostly outrages the rational mind, but the silly idea of 
the diluted potcntised dose of nothing, that is to drive out 
the aberrations of occult symptoms, and so pretend to 
cure diseases. 

Upon reading over the foregoing selections of old rec- 
ipes, in the previous chapter, taken out of a hundred 
others less readable and less presentable, — these being, as 
before stated, quotations from the very antiquated books 
of the alchemist referred to, — one cannot fail to see the 
same genus, as well as similarity of proceedings, together 
with the extravagantly absurd assumptions and assertion 
in making the wonderful "potentiality," or "exalted 
potency," of a given medicine, alike in alchemy and in 
homoeopathy. Evidently the many more times repeated 
pulverizing in mortar, with dilutions and redistillations, 
was an attempt, by French and others of those times, to 
revivify the ancient " art." 

Hahnemann, evidently in the same line, took the hint 
and tried to outdo the alchemist by adopting the myth- 
ical theory of Stahl and then using spirits or alcohol 
ready made to his hand, for he was one hundred and 
fifty years later. He even increased the number of pre- 
cise dilutions and manipulations, with certain shakes, no 
more, no less. The higher the potentizing process, — as 
the tenth, twelfth, twentieth, or thirtieth, — the greater 
the essential mysteriousness of the homoeopathic art. 
Then with this mythy mystery, or "magestry," called 
by Hahnemann " potency," it is proposed to "overcome" 
and " expel " actual diseases — even by such mythical 
mightiness made out of nothingness, which the homoe- 
opaths pretend they prescribe for the sick. 

The peculiar family likeness is strikingly seen upon 



reading in unison the alchemist and the " Organon." 
Hermes, French, Paracelsus, Van Helmont, Hahnemann, 
and the homceopathists were and are all " similars," be- 
longing to the same line of old-school doctors who first, 
middle, and last were and are totally opposed to all reg- 
ular scientific medicine and physicians. As in the past, 
they (the homceopathists) are still doing all they can to 
destroy the general confidence in physicians. 

Noah Webster says, " The word alchemy is taken from 
the Italian word alchima. It relates to the more difficult 
and sublime part of chemistry, and chiefly such as relates 
to the transmutation of metals into gold, and the finding 
a universal remedy for diseases ; and an alkahest, or uni- 
versal solvent ; and other things now treated as ridicu- 
lous. This pretended science was much cultivated in the 
sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, but is now held in 

As an example, the process of making the "homuncu- 
lus " of Paracelsus, as quoted verbatim on pages 162-166, 
certainly reminds us of the homoeopathicus of Hahne- 
mann — his third, sixth, tenth, twentieth, or thirtieth po- 
tency. We also may notice that the alchemist made use 
of snakes, bees, ants, milipedes, snails, and human bones, 
and toads. So do the homoeopaths of the present day, 
following still the same dogmatic school, employ medi- 
cines made of snakes, — not good fat ones, but the poison- 
ous, — vipers (lachescs), the stings or tails of bees, spiders 
of the most hateful and poisonous kind — as the tarantula 
of Cuba, also the poisonous little spotted spider — and 
potato bugs, as well as other disgusting things not to be 
mentioned here. Their old mythical theory of the non- 
entity of disease, as also of remedy, are indeed similar. 
I repeat, the similarity and relationship of these succes- 
sive old schools are so self-evident the conclusion is quite 


irresistible. As they appear not precisely identical, all 
the better, for they certainly are similia, and for all intel- 
ligent homceopathists, and all homceopathically inclined, 
who have any sense and reason left in them, this ought 
to prove, by their universal law, a radical similibus curan- 
tur, — a complete and permanent cure for all that pertains 
to homoeopathy in toto. To really know what homoeop- 
athy is, is to eradicate it. This, rather, we believe to be 
the great homoeopathic law in practice for cure. 

Finally, in the conclusion of this, all homoeopathic phy- 
sicians are cordially invited to lay aside their dogmatism 
and pathy, and come, if qualified, and join the great body 
of regular physicians, where they shall be honored ; so 
that there shall be one body, one library, one faith, and 
one practice. 


To the law and to the testimony — testimony of the different factions of 
homoeopathists against the "system" of homoeopathy as a whole, or 
homoeopathy condemning and rejecting itself by piece-meal and the testi- 
mony of others. 

It is a question with some whether the homoeopathic practice at the bed- 
side is strictly based upon the principles they teach, and whether they pre- 
scribe their attenuations and rely upon them in serious cases. Some ho- 
moeopathists say they do ; for we must know there are three factions of 
these practitioners. One division, called the high dilutionists, prescribe 
the thirtieth, and so on up to the three hundredth potency. Another divi- 
sion of them limit themselves to the low and medium dilutions, as from the 
third and sixth to the tenth and twelfth. Another division prescribes the 
low potencies, from mother tincture to the sixth, also crude drugs and 
powerful alkaloids ; or rather, they say they practice " either way,'' homceo- 
pathically or allopathically, according as the patient or family prefer. These 
intense divisions lead to family quarrels and sharp contentions among 
themselves, especially when they come together at their annual meetings; 
for they accuse each other of not knowing pure homoeopathy, or on the 
other side of being mongrel. From some of these discussions we may 
learn that they can say harder things about the creed and nonsense of 
Hahnemann's homoeopathy than any one outside of their ranks. 

From a paper read before the Homoeopathic Society in Tennessee, and 
published in the American Homceopathist of March, 1878, we quote the fol- 
lowing: "The voluminous and unreliable Homoeopathic Alateria Medica 
is a great stumbling-block to the students of this new school. It seems as 
though the idea was to get as many symptoms as possible from each drug, 
regardless as to whether they are veritable drug-symptoms or personal 
symptoms peculiar to the prover, or symptoms arising from other causes. 
There is also the searching for new medicines among all kinds of animal 
and vegetable matter, some of them too foul to mention." 

"Another great obstacle to the advancement of homoeopathy arises from 
the position taken and articles published by some of its would-be leaders 
against pathology. It cannot be possible that they wish to lower the stand- 
ard of education among the homoeopaths. If we do so our downfall is cer- 


tain. If we drop pathology, why not drop anatomy, physiology, and chem- 
istry ? Why not, indeed, drop every branch from their catalogue which is 
taught in all the allopathic colleges? They say that Hahnemann was 
opposed to pathology. . . . They say that pathology is materialistic. In this 
I agree with them fully. What are we dealing with but matter? There 
surely is nothing very spiritual in a case of cholera morbus or delirium 
tremens. Such an argument is too ridiculous to answer. It is to the 
bodily and not to the spiritual ills we are called to minister.'' 

From the Homa-opathic Times of January, 1S78, I quote the following : 
" The Homoeopathic Materia Medica is only entitled to the condemnation 
of all scholars and philosophers. For every one knows that if all the 
homoeopathic physicians on earth could have lived and commenced 'test- 
ing ' by such experimentation from the morning of creation and continued 
actively at it to this moment, they could not have proven one-half of the 
symptoms attributed to the various drugs therein contained." " From 
proinngs, we hear of the wonderful, exact, and minute effects of drugs 
stated with the greatest confidence and flippancy. They tell us about cer- 
tain minute local effects of some remedy, at certain times, stated periods, or 
after a certain time, or they refer to a certain freak, whim, or fancy that 
went flitting through the brain, and being infatuated with the idea that they 
had found a key-note, they set the spiritualized atom at work to search out 
and expel the malady, which it does to the astonishment of all except the 
doctor who sent the pellet upon its glorious mission, because he was familiar 
with its most subtle and hidden power ! With such foolish jargon the 
homoeopathic profession is loaded down, . . and it will eventually be 
buried so deep beneath the popular judgment as to defy all possibility of 

" In proving a drug, as is claimed by the new school, upon the healthy 
organism, and demonstrating its exact nature and action, implies much more 
labor, and the whole thing is involved in far greater uncertainty than many 
suppose. The evidence we have upon this subject is so diffuse, profuse, 
and contradictory, that this whole system of drug-proving is not only 
doubted by many, but is to-day, with all the boasting of learned authors and 
professors, and unlearned doctors, a mooted question in the scientific world." 
"Our theory has demanded too much, and, in fact, more than men or angels 
can contribute or comprehend." 

" We can take no part in the false and foolish doctrine of the potentiza- 
tion of drugs ; this doctrine and delusion belongs exclusively to the province 
of the magician, who claims to produce the most astonishing changes in 
material things by the mention of peculiar words or the direction of his 
mysterious wand. The idea that a given substance can be indefinitely di- 
luted, and its powers indefinitely increased by it, is an agelation that would 
have astonished the inhabitants of earth in the darkest and most supersti- 


tious ages of ancient Egypt. Those who can believe such an incredible 
wonder should not deride those in ancient times who exposed the sick in 
public places, or treated diseases by amulets, incantations, or charms; nor 
should they point the finger of scorn at the ancient men who rubbed black 
cats over the stomach of such as were tormented with the colic." 

"To prove a drug by giving it to one or more persons and registering all 
their symptoms, peculiar fancies, and ideas, does not furnish reliable evi- 
dence of only the real effects of that drug ; that is, evidence upon which a 
man is warranted to act, who holds in his hands the responsibility of human 
life. When we thus claim that we are familiar with all the minute actions 
of a drug we only assert that which is impossible and untrue, and entitles 
us to a place in the front ranks among the mountebanks who impose upon 
the credulity of mankind." 

" If medicines become more active and efficient by such dilutions and 
shakings, then the same rule should apply to food, which under similar cir- 
cumstances should become more nutritious. The principle has been tested 
upon milk and found to be a failure. It is now an undisputed fact that 
milk cannot be improved by dilution and shaking." The whole system of 
homoeopathy hangs upon the truth or fallacy of this proposition of "po- 
tency." This is a greater question in homoeopathy than similia similibus 
curantur, for if these dilutions make no effect as physical agents, and Hah- 
nemann says they do not, and this spiritual or dynamic power is not devel- 
oped, as we have shown it is not, then the supposed law of similia is neces- 
sarily a piece of folly and fallacy, because also that medicines cannot be pre- 
scribed in ordinary or physiological doses in accordance to that law without 
aggravating the given disease. Therefore this question needs no further 

" When human wants can be met by such a ' system ' of magic, when the 
philosopher's stone shall have been found, when the transmutation of metals 
can be effected, when flourish has more potency than logic, when brass takes 
the place of brains, and not till then, can he either by magic or muscle im- 
part active life to inert substance ; then, and not till then, can he diffuse 
power in remedies; then, and not till then, will the sense and logic of the 
world allow homoeopathic spiritualized drugs a place in medical science." 

"A few physicians of prominence in England," with a mistaken generous 
spirit, out of consideration for certain patients, " have suggested the pro- 
priety of meeting members of this ' sect ' in consultation, notwithstanding 
the acknowledged utter absurdity of their professional views and practice 
and their well known denunciations of regular medicine. These suggestions," 
says Dr. Palmer, "it is predicted, will not meet with acceptance from the 
profession, for reasons which must be obvious to those who have followed the 
preceding statements respecting the homoeopathic doctrine. The object of 
medical consultations is to benefit the patient, to secure for him, by exchange 


of opinions and by mutual agreement, the best possible course of treatment. 
It is too evident to require to be stated that there can be no agreement between 
a regular physician having any established professional views and a sincere 
homoeopath. No benefit can arise to the patient from the practical disagree- 
ment which would be inevitable. The conscientious believer in the universal 
principle of similia similibus could not consent to the use of any remedy not 
selected in accordance with that law. One believing in the efficacy of in- 
finitesimals, and in the injurious effects of medicines in natural form and 
sensible doses, could not consent, with any regard to the patient, to the giv- 
ing of larger doses. 

" If, for the purpose of securing patronage, the homceopathist pretends to 
a superior system in which he does not believe, and to a better practice which 
he does not follow, he certainly is a charlatan and a pretender, unworthy of 
confidence or honorable associations. 

" If a regular physician, for the sake of a consultation fee, or for the pur- 
pose of obtaining popular favor, sacrifices his convictions, relinquishes meas- 
ures in which he has confidence, and consents to a practice which he is 
sure is useless, he may be a fitting person for such consultations, but he is not 
an honorable member of an honorable profession. If between an honest 
homoeopath and an equally honest regular physician there can be no agree- 
ment and co-operation in the treatment of a case, consultations between such 
are certainly useless. No opinions need to be expressed respecting con- 
sultations between parties, one or both of whom are insincere. Should the 
homoeopathist abandon his system, or the regular physician embrace it, then 
there may be harmony and agreement; but until then consistency and honor, 
no less than proper professional feeling, will forbid the unnatural alliance. 

" The man who is honest and honorable and has been educated in the 
homoeopathic doctrines, and has been brought into the homoeopathic frater- 
nity, but who has become convinced of the essential error of the system, 
will openly abandon it ; will no longer march in its ranks, or be called by 
its name* One who rejects the homoeopathic creed and is unwilling to oc- 
cupy a false position will follow the example which some well known and 
honorable men now in the ranks of the regular profession have recently set, 
and by declaring his position and leaving his former associations will obtain 
recognition and a position which his talents and character will earn for him. 
These are the views most men will take. None are more positive in their 
declarations against the unnatural alliance than the leading authorities among 
the homoeopathists themselves." Dr. Ray says, " The principle of similia 
similibus is the barrier which separates the new from the old school." 
Hahnemann had the sanity and the sense to say that homoeopathy would 
ever be separated from what he termed allopathy " by an impassable gulf." 
And we also see that the infinitesimal dose must lock and bolt that bar- 

* Dr. Palmer. 



rier forever. In a recent address by Professor Oliver Wendell Holmes 
before the medical class of Harvard University, he said he proposed to point 
out some of the stepping-stones and stumbling-blocks that have helped or 
hindered the progress of the healing art. Finally he said : " It only remains 
to speak of some new methods and theories which have been the product of 
our century. I will briefly allude to the doctrines of Broussais and the 
numerical system of Louis. Already ' Broussaism ' is obsolete, and al- 
most forgotten at the present day. Louis, Andral, Cornel, Trousseau, and 
others less run away with by a theory, killed it. Of Louis and the 
numerical system I could say much. But I prefer to say only that the 
numerical system can teach a wise and honest and diligent man much, and 
that it can make a foolish, dishonest, careless man a greater fool, impostor, 
blunderer, than nature ever intended him to be." 

" Touching upon homceopathy," he said, " the only excuse I can offer for 
devoting any time to this subject is the fact that it has a certain hold on 
the community ; that it has organizations which claim a better doctrine and 
a more effective treatment than what homoeopaths are pleased to call 'the 
old school,' for which Hahnemann invented this nickname, also that of 
'allopathy,' sometimes used by those who ought to know better. I re- 
quire this excuse for introducing this subject, for in fact homoeopathy has 
no status among the biological sciences. It has nothing of any practical 
value, so far as I know, to offer to the medical profession. It began by 
promising to prevent scarlet fever, which it miserably fails to do : and from 
that day to this it has been a romance of idle promises, slipping through the 
fingers like quicksilver, evaporating without residue, like ether from the 
palm of the hand. If any one of these promises had been fulfilled, if any 
single remedy brought forward by homoeopathy, — of course in infinitesimal 
doses, — had proved trustworthy and efficacious, it would have been thankfully 
accepted by the medical profession, which welcomes every method ol help, un- 
less it comes with false pretences, and even then will appropriate any fraction 
of truth by itself which may be found to underlie the deception or delusion. 
If a drug is proved to be a remedy for any disease or symptom no physician 
objects to it that it is capable of producing similar symptoms in a healthy 
person. The regular Materia Medica has long recognized a class of reme- 
dies under the term of alteratives. Under this general head every so-called 
homoeopathic remedy is, or would find its place, if any proved really valuable. 

" Forty years ago I delivered and published a lecture on homoeopathy and 
its kindred delusions. The three dogmas with which" I had to deal chiefly 
were these : 

" First. The one great doctrine which constitutes the basis of homceopathy 
as a system is expressed in the Latin aphorism ' Similia similibus curantur,' 
or like cures like ; that is, diseases are cured by agents capable of produc- 
ing symptoms resembling those found in the disease under treatment. 


" Second. The second doctrine'which Hahnemann professed to have estab- 
lished is the efficacy of medicinal substances when reduced to a wonderful 
degree of minuteness and dilution. The originafdrop or grain of powder 
operated on is carried successively to the millionth, billionth, trillionth, 
and very often much higher fractional dilution. A homoeopathic dose of 
any of their so-called medicines is obtained by simply moistening with it 
one or several little globules of sugar, of which globules, Hahnemann says, it 
takes about two hundred to weigh a grain." The dose, then, is not the 
fraction of the first drop, but the two hundredth of a drop of this wonder- 
ful dilution! 

" Third. The third great doctrine of Hahnemann is the following: * ' Seven- 
eighths at least of a\\ chronic diseases are produced by the existence in the sys- 
tem (human body) of that infectious disorder known in the language of science 
by the appellation of Psora, but to the less refined portion of the community by 
the name of the Itch.' ' Psora is the sole, fundamental, and true cause that 
produces all the other countless forms of diseases, which, under the name 
of nervous debility, hysteria, hypochondriasis, insanity, melancholy, idiocy, 
madness, epilepsy, and spasms of all kinds, softening of the bones, or rick- 
ets, scoliosis and cyphosis, caries, cancer, fungus haematodes, gout, yellow 
jaundice and cyanosis, dropsy, gastralgia, epistaxis, hoemoptesis, asthma, 
suppuration of the lungs, megrim, deafness, cataract and amurosis, paralysis, 
loss of sense, pains of every kind, etc., which appear in pathology as so 
many peculiar, distinct, and independent diseases.' Can you believe that 
I am not imposing on your credulity when I say that I translate these words 
literally from Jourdan's French version of Hahnemann's ' Organon ' ? " 

" Now, what has become of the first of these three dogmas ? The Ency- 
clopaedia Britannica, in its twelfth volume, published in 1S81, quotes the fol- 
lowing confession from a homoeopathic journal, called the Medical Investiga- 
tor, of the date of 1876: 'How many claiming to be homoeopaths are 
daily disregarding the law of similia! It is getting to be quite a rare thing 
to hear of a homoeopathic practitioner conducting a serious case from begin- 
ning to end without using as such cathartics, sudorifics, diuretics, etc., in 
direct opposition to our law; not only are these drugs used in this way, but 
there are some who say that they cannot be dispensed with "' — the testi- 
mony of homoeopathy from England. 

" As to the second grand principle announced by Hahnemann, there is 
abundant evidence that many, if not most, homoeopathic practitioners make 
use 'of various remedies in their ordinary doses. I have had interesting 
revelations of this kind from my friend, the late Dr. r Edward H. Clarke. 
But I was hardly prepared for the statement of Dr. Wilde, Vice-president 
of the British Homoeopathic Medical Society, that, ' although many believe 
that the action of the infinitesimal in nature can be demonstrated, yet its 
* Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes. 



use in medicine is practically, by a large number in this country (England), 
all but abandoned.' 

" The more recent discovery of the acarus scabiei, the little insect, which 
proves to be the true cause of ' the itch,' has sufficiently disposed of the third 
of the homoeopathic dogmas. Now, what there is left of a three-legged 
stool after one of its legs is pulled out and the other two are sawed half 
or three-quarters through, seems hardly worth sitting down upon. So far 
as I can take account of stock, the present assets of homoeopathy consists of 
a pleasing designation, with sets of little phials containing minute globules, 
or amulets, arranged to correspond with a nomenclature, and a collection 
of ' provings,' which prove more about the prover than about the questions 
to be proved, a doctrine which slips on or off like a kid glove, according to 
the company in which the doctor finds himself. Why homoeopathy should 
have so much popular currency in this country as compared with the land 
of its birth, or with Great Britain, is a curious question. But do not allow 
yourselves to believe because this new country is the favorite breeding 
place of Mormonism, of homoeopathy, or of clairvoyance, that polygamy, 
though organized, is going to break up the sanctities of the American house- 
hold ; or that these fancy practitioners will displace the educated, scientific, 
rational physician in the abiding confidence of the great American public." 

"A few words with reference to Hahnemann, the inventor of homoeopathy, 
whose vagaries still lie in the way, to be stumbled over by here and there 
one whose mental twist or imperfect scientific training has betrayed him 
into the misfortune of taking the wrong direction. Hahnemann was no 
ignoramus, by any means, but something a great deal worse. He was a 
hopeless subject of cerebral strabismus, beyond all medical, all surgical 
treatment. A squinting eye can be set right, but a squinting brain is too 
much for the art of gods or men. Whether the strabismuth involved the 
moral as well as the mental faculties of Hahnemann I will not stop to dis- 
cuss. But when a man misrepresents all that he reads, when he borrows- 
the most foolish things from the most foolish or erratic writers that he can: 
possibly get hold of, then the less he has to do with books the better. In 
mentioning the authorities from whom Hahnemann probably borrowed his 
two best known dogmas I do not mean to say that what he took from an 
unworthy source may not be worthy of confidence. A rogue may have good 
money in his pocket, but his bills are more likely to be counterfeit than 
those carried by an honest man. 

"It is well known what a braggart and pretender was Bombastus voni 
Hohenheim, who called himself Paracelsus. All recognize him as the very 
type of the swaggering boasters who profess to work miracles by their won- 
derful skill and knowledge. Those who are curious will find the distinct 
statement of the similia similibus doctrine in his words, quoted in an article 
in a recent volume, of the Encyclopaedia Britannica. Whether Hahnemann 


borrowed it from Paracelsus or not is of no very great consequence, but it 
is just the kind of hint a shrewd system-maker would be likely to find in 
just the kind of author he would be like to be searching ; and its source 
lays it open to suspicion. 

" The history of the probable origin of the infinitesimal medication is 
more interesting, and, so far as I know, has not been unearthed until I hap- 
pened to strike the burrow this doctrine is likely to have come from. I 
chanced to be looking through the ' Ortus Medicinae ' of Van Helmont about 
a year ago, reading here and there as the titles of the chapters attracted me 
more or less. It was the Elzevir edition of 1652, and had stood on my 
shelves for many years. Among such titles of chapters as Bias Htimanum 
and Vis Magnetica I noticed one with this odd-looking prefix : 

" ' Butler. I found this was the name of an individual, an Hibernian, a great 
personage formerly, as he represented, at the court of King James the 
First, of England. At the time, however, th!s stranger was provided with 
lodgings at the public expense in the jail of Vilvoorden, a town of Belgium. 
Here it was that Van Helmont, a very credulous, very whimsical man of 
genius, a believer in the Sympathetic Ointment and other nonsense of 
the kind, became acquainted with this distinguished stranger, who bore the 
family name of the Duke of Ormond. This captive wrought some wonder- 
ful cures, which Van Helmont reports. 

" ' The first case was that of a monk suffering from erysipelas. The Irish- 
man dipped a certain pebble quickly into a teaspoonful of oil of almonds 
and instantly withdrew it. The patient took the oil, or some of it, and was 
cured at once. Second case : a washerwoman ; complaint, hemicrania. 
He dipped the same pebble quickly into a teaspoonful of olive oil, gave it 
a lick with his tongue, and put it back into his waistcoat pocket. He 
poured that teaspoonful of oil into a small vessel of oil. One drop of this 
to be rubbed on the old woman's head. Immediate and permanent cure. 
Stupefied astonishment of Van Helmont ; to whom the son of Erin, " My 
darling, if you don't get on so far that you can cure any disease with a single 
remedy you will remain a greenhorn (in tyrccinio) till you are a gray- 

" ' The next patient was a nobleman ; a bad case of gout, as it would seem. 
He was to touch the pebble every morning with the tip of his tongue, wash 
the lame parts with a cheap lotion, prepared in the laboratory of nature, 
and to be well in three weeks. " If he will make me well," says the count, 
" I will pay him his own price, and deposit it so that he shall be sure of it." 
Our friend with the pebble takes this in high dudgeon ; will never help the 
miserable creature ; does not want his money ; is as good as he is. Van Hel- 
mont could not prevail on him to treat the case, and became sceptical. But 
not long afterwards a fat friend of his wanted to be rid of his obesity. But- 
ler gave him a small fragment of the pebble, which he is to lick once or 


touch swiftly with the tip of his tongue every morning. In three weeks he 
was a span narrower around his thorax. 

"'Van Helmont begins to have faith again, and being himself ill, as he 
thinks from poison, sends a flask of oil to Butler, who is still in jail, and 
who dips his pebble in it. One drop to be applied externally in one or more 
places. Entire failure of relief. Sceptical once more,— our inquiring 
philosopher. But, next, his wife is relieved of a dropsical swelling, and a 
servant-maid of an ill-cured erysipelas, and a widow of a stiff arm, all by 
one or more drops of the oil, and an abbess of loss of power in her right 
arm by only touching her tongue to the pebble. Then I asked Butler, says 
Van Helmont, " why so many women were cured at once, while I, near death 
and full of pains in all my joints and organs, got not the slightest relief." 
The Irishman gave a plausible answer, which silenced, if it did not satisfy, 
the learned simpleton.' 

"The essence of the infinitesimal doctrine?' says Dr. Holmes, "is in this 
most curious chapter of the ' Ortus Medicinae,' which is well worth reading. 
Hahnemann mentions the name of Van Helmont in his ' Organon,' and I 
have little doubt that he borrowed his infinitesimal closes, smelling of reme- 
dies, and other inventions, from this chapter. Van Helmont, I may add, 
entirely anticipated Hahnemann in insisting upon the use of single or »«- 
compounded remedies. ' I believe,' he says, ' that simple remedies, in their 
simplicity, are equal to the cure of all diseases.' And he adds, 'Conse- 
quently, the dispensaries, wishing to compound and correct many ingredi- 
ents, lose everything, and by a hidden blasphemy, as it were, undertake to 
supply the divine insufficiency.' 

" Where Hahnemann got his third great dogma, that itch is the cause of 
seven-eighths of all chronic and nervous diseases, I do not know; but I 
notice that Van Helmont has a good deal to say about those diseases from 
which he himself suffered for some months, and what he says may very 
probably have set Hahnemann thinking about it." 

" Finally, of medical theories and practice the community is not a com- 
petent judge. Hippocrates said, ' Life is short, art is long, opportunity is 
fleeting, experience is deceptive, judgment is difficult.' If experience is de- 
ceptive for the trained practitioner, if a decisive opinion in cases of disease 
is difficult for him, of what value are the experiences and conclusions of 
wholly untrained individuals in medicine ? But how can you argue with 
people so blindly wedded to homoeopathy ? They answer exactly in the same 
way with the blind man restored to sight, told of in the Gospel of Saint John. 
But who ever heard of a man or woman born blind being cured by homoeop- 
athy ? Yet, as if the case is parallel, they say, ' Whether this be a quack 

medicine or no, I know not ; one thing I know, that whereas I was 

now I am well ; ' and this argument, utterly fallacious as proof, will prove 
a sure defence to every form of quackery until the end of time.'' 


" The underlying fact in regard to all this is that the great proportion of 
cases of sickness tend to get well, sooner or later, with good nursing and lit- 
tle or no medicine. So that homceopathy, like every other 'system' or 
method, the true and the false alike, has the advantage of this kind of de- 
ceptive evidence. Moreover, whenever a given case proves serious and 
needs some medicine, if the doctor knows anything about therapeutics and 
is cute, he will give some tangible remedies, or else ask for consultation 
with some ' regular ' physician.'' Dr. Holmes, from whom we are here 
quoting, believes that the inert, inoffensive, and utterly useless homceo 
"globules " have all the virtues a name can give them, and no others. "Not 
the less is homaopathy a system of false pretences. If a man came along pro- 
fessing to teach history on the basis of Mother Goose ; if he alleges as a 
scientific fact that a man did really'scratch out his eyes by jumping into a 
bramble bush, and did really scratch them in again by jumping into another 
similar bush, and takes this fact for the corner-stone of ophthalmic surgery, 
I do not think the Professors of Harvard University would feel themselves 
called upon to recognize him as a scientific and professional fellow-worker." 

" We know that almost every form of medical sham and imposture can 
show some marvellous evidences of cures, not only apparently, but some as 
truly, for the imagination is a very powerful physiological agent. There 
are the magnetizers, the laying-on-of-hands, the faith-cure ; and we cannot 
deny that there is such a thing as simple faith-cure, quite distinct from any 
specific, divine, or miraculous interposition. There are also the spiritual- 
istics and the clairvoyants or mesmerics, as mysterious and fascinating to a 
certain class as the dynamatized infinitesimals are to the deluded homoe- 
opaths, and their pretended diagnosis or prognosis, if not their cures, are 
astonishingly satisfactory" to the messenger and her friends who carry the 
lock of hair and pay the fee. It seems probable from the numerous ad- 
vertisements that more patients consult these liver-and-spleen-seeing and 
fortune-telling jugglers than people generally are aware of; and who can es- 
timate the injury to the rising generation by countenancing or patronizing, 
or even tolerating as respectable, these various forms of false pretensions ? 

Hypnotism, a peculiar mental state, induced in certain persons by certain 
means, needs to be studied by physicians and explained to the people so far 
as understood, so that it may loose its fascinating wonder among certain 
people, and so that quacks cannot employ it as a part of their fallacious 
business. In this phenomenon it should be known that the objective symp- 
toms vary with each case, and that there are recognized three principal 
types, the lethargic, the cataleptic, and the somnambulistic. This peculiar 
mental condition, known as hypnotism, is more easily produced in some 
persons than in others, and in some it is impossible. But staring at a 
small disk, held near in front of the nose for some minutes, is one method; 
the monotonous sensory impressions produced by light passes of the hands 


of the operator over the head, face, and thorax of the subject is another 
method; and by fixing the attention on some one object with absorbing 
thought can produce it ; and it may occur spontaneously, regardless of the 
will of the subject, as during ordinary sleep in the night, from which it dif- 
fers in that the latter is a natural total sleep of the sensorium, while hyp- 
notism is only a partial sleep of a peculiar kind, somewhat resembling 

It should be generally known that the hypnotic state is a subjective con- 
dition, and not an objective one. In other words, when the person goes 
into this state by her own effort, or by passes, or from any other means, it 
is not due to dominion of the will by the operator, but rather to the special 
yielding condition of the mind of the person, who, so to speak, has the hyp- 
notic temperament, or diathesis. Hence the popular idea in regard to clair- 
voyance that one will has dominion over another resisting will is complete 
nonsense, and is so received in scientific circles. 

Some wrongdoing is so mischievous and virulent that it not only hurts 
the sinner, sooner or later, it also involves and hurts often perfectly in- 
nocent persons. So the sporadic belief in and practice of mesmerism or 
clairvoyance, " the second-sight," spiritualism, and table-tipping, fortune- 
telling, faith-cure by laying on of hands or by anointing with oil and by 
prayer', or mind-cure, are not only a direct and immediate evil, but they, to- 
gether with the baseless fabric of homoeopathy, collectively and severally, 
are an injury not only to true medicine, but also to pure Christianity itself. 
Nor am I alone in this conviction. Our attention has recently been called 
in all sincerity and fairness, by Dr. Staples, of Connecticut, to the fact that 
certain parties profess, and advertise to possess and exercise, the power to 
cure the sick by the prayer of faith, and that many persons claim to have been 
thus restored to health. These are circumstances that cannot and ought 
not to be ignored by those who are interested either in the cause of medicine 
or Christianity. The evidence presented of the possession of such power, and 
the circumstances, should certainly be carefully studied, and the proofs pre- 
sented weighed in the balances of science and unprejudiced enlightened 

He truly says " that the subject involved is of great importance, and that 
no intelligent person, be he Christian or infidel, will deny it. The claim set 
up must be either true or false. If true, if Christians do now possess the 
power claimed, it may be used not only in the relief of human suffering, 
but may become a powerful element, if rightly used, in the speedy triumph 
of Christianity over the doubts of all but the incorrigible wicked. But if, 
on the other hand, this doctrine be founded in delusion, then whatever may 
be the present or temporary benefits of a physical nature to comparatively 
few individuals, its effects cannot be otherwise than pernicious to the cause 
of vital Christianity in the end. 



" Perhaps nothing has had a greater tendency to weaken the force of the 
argument derived from miracles, in favor of the divine origin of the Bible, 
than the pretended miracles of priestly superstition, and other hypocrisy. 
The cause of Christianity has suffered enough in past ages by false preten- 
sions to miraculous power. We want no more shams in this respect ; but 
if God has endowed certain persons with the gift of miraculous power, all 
good men, — all who are interested in the triumph of Christ in the world, — 
would wish to know it, that the best possible use can be made of the fact in 
defence of divine revelation. But if the parties referred to are laboring 
under a delusion, however honest they may be in this respect, they certainly 
should be opposed and exposed by all true and good men. 

"There can be no compromise. To say they mean well is not enough. 
The question is, is it true that God, through them, cures otherwise incurable 
diseases in a quick, instantaneous, and supernatural manner? If he has 
wrought such cures as these, then the evidence to produce conviction in the 
minds of candid, intelligent men, and to put the unreasonable sceptic to si- 
lence, is available, and should be produced. 

" It is not enough that some wonderful cures are effected by them ; the 
merely wonderful is not proof of the supernatural. All claims to the pos- 
session and exercise of supernatural or miraculous power should be put to 
the most crucial test, and all honest claimants of such power will readily con- 
sent to have their professions thus attested. That men have been endowed 
with such power in the apostolic age, that it is possible for them to be thus 
endowed now, must be admitted by all believers in Christianity ; hence the 
question is not in relation to the possible, but to the actual possession of such 
power by those who now claim to possess and exercise it. We do not call 
in question the honesty of all persons concerned in this matter ; but we do 
most sincerely believe they are laboring in some respects under serious de- 
lusions, and that all real cures that have been effected are simply the result 
of natural causes. 

" Let us take, for illustration, the case presented by Dr. Hall *in an edito- 
rial upon this question in the February number of the Microcosm. It is 
certainly the best authenticated instance of 'faith cure ' that I have seen. 
That the gentleman was sick, is now well, and that he recovered his health 
while under the advice and control of one claiming 'the power to cure by 
faith,' are admitted facts. But do these facts prove the interposition of su- 
pernatural power ? We think not. Let us see. First, it is not certain, bv 
any means, that his trouble was organic disease of the heart ; his difficulty 
might have been purely sympathetic, arising from other causes ; mistakes of 
this nature are common. Second, he retired from his usual avocation and 
was relieved from anxiety. Third, he changed his local habitation and sur- 
roundings ; and last, but not least, was inspired with the hope of recovery by 

* Leonard' s Illustrated Medical Journal, July, 1883. 

APPENDIX. 2 , r 

faith in the person to whose control he had so completely surrendered 
himself. Now if his heart difficulty was not organic, and he had laid aside 
all care and removed to another locality, and acquired the same hopefulness 
of spirit by faith, say, in ' bread-pills,' would not the result have been the 
same ? 

" Let the reader compare the above, or any other well authenticated case 
of cure by the claimants of apostolic power, with the real cases reported by 
St. Luke in the third and ninth chapters of the Acts of the Apostles, and they 
will find just cause to question the validity of their claim. 

"There are in the cities of New York and Boston many well known per- 
sons, — blind, deformed, or crippled life long, 'from their birth,' — universally 
acknowledged to be beyond recovery by human power or skill. Now let one 
of these persons be restored to perfect health and soundness in answer to 
prayer, by the laying on of hands, and by the anointing of oil, or by the op- 
eration of all these combined, then perhaps we shall have demonstration of 
the supernatural and miraculous ; but not till such a cure is placed beyond 
a doubt will the evidence be satisfactory to cautious and intelligent men and 
women. For all real miracles demonstrate the presence of the supernatural, 
and place it beyond all question or doubt. 

" Take any or every miracle recorded in the Bible and the above principle 
will be found correct. If the statement of facts made are admitted, then 
miraculous interposition must also be admitted. Take for illustration the 
widow's son : if we admit he was dead, and that Christ restored him to life 
by saying, ' Young man, arise I ' then a miracle is as evident as the shining 
of the sun at noonday. Now, we inquire, is this true of modern 'faith- 
cure,' so-called ? Do they not, on the contrary, when all the facts are known 
and admitted, suggest doubt to the candid inquirer after truth ? Yes, in the 
presence of any such comparison doubt instantly crystallizes into utter un- 
belief in any and all so-calledyW/;-i-«w by the supernatural. 

" Take again the instance of the healing of the cripple from his birth by 
Peter and John. It would appear that the meeting of the parties was purely 
accidental ; the lame man did not go there to be healed, nor did he expect 
or ask to be healed; there is not the least intimation that Peter and John 
went there with the intention of healing him or any one else. He was a 
mendicant, depending upon charity. He made an appeal to the disciples, 
as he did to others, tor alms. Peter said : ' Silver and gold have I none, but 
such as I have give I unto thee. In the name of Jesus of Nazareth rise up 
and walk.' The impulse came upon Peter unexpectedly, and it may be a 
question which was the most surprised, the lame man, the apostles, or the 
multitude. It was in fact and effect a miracle, suggested and effected by 
divine inspiration and power, not by human will, wisdom, or prior arrange- 
ment. Hence it furnishes the most conclusive evidence, to all parties con- 
cerned, of the presence and power of Christ. 



" There are, I think, but nine references to the manifestation of miraculous 
power by the disciples in the Acts of the Apostles, and these are scattered 
through a period of about thirty years. They are all attributed either to 
Peter, John, Philip, Stephen, or Paul ; and in no instance is there any inti- 
mation of pre-arrangement of parties interested. A pre-arranged miracu- 
lous cure is not found in the entire record ; nor do we find that the apostles 
ever made a profession to an abiding endowment to work miracles, or ever 
invited the lame, halt, blind, and sick to come to them to be healed ; but 
when such cures were effected by them, they were the result, as before re- 
marked, of immediate inspiration and impulsion by the Holy Spirit, and 
when not thus impelled to such action they were as weak in this respect 
as any other men. Divine wisdom determined when, how, and through 
whom these revelations of the immediate presence and power of Christ 
over all things should be made. It was not left to the will and wisdom of 
the apostles, and it is greatly to their credit that they never put forth any 
claim to such authority, nor pledged themselves beforehand to any such mi- 
raculous power. 

" It may, however, still be urged that the Apostle James affirms that 'the 
prayer of faith shall save the sick.' True, and we have no wish to doubt or 
reject the truth of this declaration, or that it presents a precious truth that 
should lead and give inspiration to prayer and faith in every emergency. 
This we heartily and joyfully believe. But are we to accept the declaration 
in an unlimited sense ? Did the apostle mean to say that all sick persons, 
in all ages and at all times, could be cured by the prayer of faith ? And 
that this should continue at all times and in all ages? Not so; for if this 
be true, then man has the power of reversing the law of death, and securing 
immortality on earth." The real true meaning is self-evident. 

He who utterly denies the miraculous denies God and His revelation, since 
revelation is miraculous. Seriously to raise the question whether God can 
perform miracles would be impious as well as absurd. The possibility of 
the miraculous rests upon the uninterrupted activity of a living God in the 
world. Its necessity arises on the one hand from the divine end and aim in 
regard to the world, and on the other from the disturbance introduced into 
its development through sin. Therefore, although miracles are supernatural 
they are not unnatural. Far from violating the conditions of life, of nature, 
or of humanity, they re-establish the life of the world which has already been 
deranged, and initiate the higher order of things for which the universe was 

" If miracles are directed, as we have seen, not against the world's order, 
but against its disorder, why do we not find them occurring in every place 
where misery and death still prevail ?* Sin and evil exist to this day; mis- 
ery and disorder still abound in the world ; why should not God continue 

* Christlieb on " Modern Doubt," p. 330 



miraculously to interfere for the removal of all these, and for the re-estab- 
lishment of the original order? 

" To this we answer, first of all : Are miracles, strictly so called, the only 
means through which God counteracts sin and evil ? Does He not first em- 
ploy the internal influences of His Word and Spirit ? And this has not 
ceased as yet. Sin, it is true, still exists ; but so does Christ, the Great 
Physician for the maladies of the whole world ; and His influence is ever 
becoming more and more powerful and more extended. Are new miracles, 
then, required while the old ones are still in active operation ? Let us be- 
ware of an idle longing after the miraculous." 

We must recognize that miracles belong to the divine education of the 
human race. We now do not live in a miraculous period, like that of 
Moses or of our Lord. We may learn from the history of miracles that, 
according to the Holy Scriptures, miracles are more prominent in some 
periods and less so in others, and that the former periods are always crises 
in which the eyes of men are to be drawn to the fact that the kingdom of God 
is on the eve of a momentous advance. The apostolic age required mir- 
acles, because it was the epoch in which the great Christian Church was 
founded. Miracles, then, were in their appropriate place. In the last epoch 
of the consummation of the Church, however, she may again need aid in 
the final decisive struggle with the powers of darkness, the miraculous in- 
terference of her risen Lord ; and hence the Scriptures lead us to expect 
miracles once more at that time. And as we have already admitted the 
possibility of miracles at any time, so we cannot utterly deny that miracles 
are impossible now ; but the character, circumstance, and medium of the 
miracle will help us to recognize the true from the false as easily as 
Pharaoh could see the difference between those of Moses and those of the 
Magicians. Miracles were evidently intended to confirm the divine mission 
of those who perform them, and to add to the weight of their testimony. 

Dr. E. Sanford, a homoeopathic physician of Providence, R. I., was in Eu- 
rope in 1857, and when he returned to this country he published a tract 
through Otis Clapp, the homoeopathic apothecary in Boston, in which he 
testified to the popularity of Hahnemannism in England and Europe at that 
date. " Homoeopathy has gained a permanent hold in Europe, and num- 
bers among its supporters a large portion of the intelligent and influential in 
the communities where its practitioners are found. At the present time 
there are upwards of seventy homoeopathic physicians in London, all of 
whom have received their medical education at the allopathic institutions. 
Among the best known here are Dr. Laurie and Dr. John Epps, who adhere 
closely to Hahnemann, and condemn any departure from his precepts. . . . 
In regard to potency, Dr. Epps relies chiefly upon attenuations between the 



twelfth and twentieth. He assured me that he never used aconite so low as 
the third, but often as high as the twelfth. The spread of homoeopathy is 
advanced here, as elsewhere, by the same argument as related in Scripture — 
' Once I was blind, but now I do see.' .... Dr. Epps is the author of a 
work on domestic medicine which has a large circulation." 

" Every town in England of any importance has one or more homoeo- 
pathic physicians. There are out of London about one hundred and sixty 
practitioners, exclusive of Scotland and Ireland. Homoeopathy has a com- 
manding position in Paris, the city where Hahnemann passed the last years 
of his life. About ninety homoeopathic physicians are in practice in Paris, 
and some of them hold places of eminence. Homoeopathy is rapidly spread- 
ing in France. The Emperor has favored its partial adoption in the army, 
and the Empress Eugene is among its active supporters. The Queen of 
Spain and the Spanish court all embrace homoeopathy. The widow of 
Hahnemann is still living at Paris. In Italy there are twenty-five homoeo- 
pathic physicians. In Vienna, Austria, there are forty. In Madrid about 
fifty, and in the German States many hundred of them." 

" On account of Dr. Fleishman's success in treating diseases the Emperor 
of Austria was induced to establish an institution at Vienna for teaching 
homoeopathy under the patronage of the government. The principal of this 
college is Dr. Wenub. The Hospital of the Sisters of Charity, at Vienna, 
was opened in 1S32 for the reception of cholera patients, and for two years 
a half homoeopathic and half allopathic treatment was pursued. In 1835 
Dr. Fleishman was appointed at the head of it, and adopted an entirely 
homoeopathic practice. There are two homoeopathic hospitals in London. 
There are also fourteen gratuitous dispensaries, all of which are daily at- 
tended by many patients. In conclusion, it is impossible to meet any half 
dozen persons in England but several of them are adherents of homoeop- 
athy. At the public houses, coffee rooms, and in private houses it is the 
same everywhere. Homoeopathy has acquired a great prominence, and it 
continues, in spite of opposition, to gain, in public favor, and steadily in- 
creases." Such testimony came twenty-five years ago. But how about it 
now, and the fact that the statue of Hahnemann has recently been pulled 
down in the streets of Paris ? 

Indeed, very different testimony now comes from over the sea. Instead 
of the wonderful increase there is a general acknowledgment of the failure 
of homoeopathy in all the old countries where it first begun, and so flourished 
for a time. That homoeopathy is decaying and dying out in England, 
France, and Germany is the uniform report of late, even by the foreign 
homoeopaths themselves. The great medical profession there still have 
nothing to do with it, that is, homoeopathic physicians have no professional 
recognition in the medical schools and societies, nor in any other scientific 



Homoeopathy is not the first great popular delusion that has had a furious 
following, even by some otherwise intelligent people. There was the royal 
cure of the king's evil, or scrofula. From the time of Edward the Confessor 
to Queen Anne the monarchs of England were in the habit of touching those 
who were brought to them suffering with scrofula and enlarged glands, for 
the cure of them. At one time the practice was discontinued by the 
good sense of William the Third, but Queen Anne resumed it. According 
to the testimony of many eminent persons, none ever failed of recovering, 
"unless their little faith starved their merits." Several who had been blind 
for some weeks or months received their sight again at once upon being 
touched* So widely at one period was the belief in this remedy, that in 
the course of a dozen years nearly one hundred thousand persons were 
touched by King Charles the Second. Even many physicians believed in 
it, and some testified to the efficacy in difficult cases. 

Then there was, about two hundred years ago, the wonderment and exten- 
sive belief in the "weapon ointment " throughout England and Europe. 
Its healing power was testified to by men and women of credit. The weapon 
ointment, called also the Unguentum Armarium, was made after differ- 
ent methods or formulas, but of some substances addressed to the im- 
agination rather than to the wound, for it was said to contain certain 
portions of a human mummy, or of human blood, and of moss from the 
skull of a thief or pirate who had been hung in chains. But in its use it 
was not to be applied to the wound, which was to be simply washed and 
bandaged and kept at rest, while the ointment was applied to the weapon 
itself with which the wound was inflicted, or to one like it. How strenuously 
this was believed in and practised I 

Then more recently, and in our own country, there came a monstrous fal- 
lacy which commanded a widespread following, not only in Connecticut, where 
it originated, but also in other states, in England, and in Europe. I refer, of 
course, to the ism of Dr. Perkins, which had the semblance of magnetic in- 
fluence. He employed simply two pieces of metal, shaped like small marlin- 
spikes, one of iron the other of brass, about five inches long and two inches 
in diameter at their large end, tapering off to a point at the other end. 
They were to be held, one in each hand of the operator, over certain places 
on the head, points downwards, but without touching, and in certain 
other places and relation to each other, and for a certain time. Dr. Perkins 
called these his " Metallic Tractors." He claimed that they could draw pain 
out of any part, and could put strength in any part, and do other wonders, 
and he sold them for twenty-five dollars a pair, which he succeeded in doing 
very rapidly and generally in our cities and country, and even more still in 
England, France, and Holland, until he was very rich. But he was expelled 
from the Connecticut Medical Society, and has since been execrated as an 

* Edinburgh Med. and Surg. Jour., vol. iii.,p. 103. 

236 APPENDIX. \ 

arrant quack ; and his tractors are entirely dead and gone, except as they 
are still now and then referred to as an example of fallacy and folly. 

Homoeopathy rests on the same foundation as those metallic tractors, and 
no more ; and that is, assertion and semblance, or similia. The one has had 
its day, and is gone ; the other cannot but follow in due time. But then 
Perkinism not being the first hobby-horse that has been ridden furiously, 
homoeopathy is probably not the last, though the smallest in the present 

Electropathy was flourishing here and everywhere twenty-five years ago. 
Among others active in propagating this pathy was a so-called Professor 
Page, who gave grandiloquent lectures before classes to teach them the 
" system.'' He showed that " in the practice of electropathy, as in the prac- 
tice of every other ' system,' there must be first made a correct diagnosis 
by the examination of the symptoms in the case. The electric state or con- 
dition of the patient must be carefully determined. Does the patient receive 
a proper supply of this element of life ? Are each of the avenues through 
which it is received in a healthy state ? Everybody needed this examination 
to see whether they are sick or well. Is there any local obstruction to pre- 
vent its action in any part of the organism ? He quotes Professor Faraday 
as asserting, "that from actual experiment, he finds that a single drop of 
cold water is possessed of electricity enough to charge eight hundred thou- 
sand Leyden jars of the usual size. What a surprising quantity does the 
system then receive in drinking a full glass of water ! " Almost as prodigious 
as homoeopathy. 

At that time it had been the custom, in using the electro-magnetic bat- 
tery or the magneto-electric crank machines, for the patient to hold the " tin 
handle" electrodes, one in each hand, or sometimes applying one to some 
part of the body or limbs. But " Doctor " Page improved on this, by plac- 
ing only one electrode (the positive) in the patient's hand, while the other, a 
copper or zinc plate, was placed at the feet, or else was sat upon next to the 
skin. Another " electropathic " method was to have the patient undress and 
then sit upon the copper plate, as the negative electrode, while the oper- 
ator held in his own hand the other electrode, and then applying his other 
hand or fingers as an electrode to the surface of the patient, and so passing 
it entirely over the whole body and limbs at a seance. He claimed that by 
thus passing the current through his healthy body to the patient the elec- 
tricity was more vitalizing and curative. Of course this method made it 
necessary for every patient, male and female, to disrobe, in order to be done 
all over, which he also termed general faradization. 

To each of the graduates of his classes he issued an engraved diploma 
as a master in electropathy ; and as he travelled from town to town and from 
state to state it is believed, as he claimed, that he gave these to hundreds of 
physicians and other persons. These diplomas were framed and hung up 



in their offices. When the writer returned from Europe to Boston, in 1857, 
it was ascertained that there were nearly a hundred electropathist door- 
plates, or signs, of silver or on tin, to be seen throughout nearly all the 
streets of the city, on doors or windows of the offices of men or women 
electropathists. At that time there were nearly half as many of homceop- 
athists, and as many more of hydropathists. Now, nearly all of which, 
of every sort, have disappeared. There are a few homoeopathists left. Still, 
electricity, from suitable apparatus and skilfully applied, is a valued ther- 
apeutic in certain cases. And still, water, either hot or cold, is applied or 
injected in fevers, congestions, and inflammations as a valuable aid or remedy. 
And fine medicines, — as extracts or alkaloids, also in the form of coated pills 
or parvules, and powders, elegant in appearance and easily taken, — are now 
employed in the place of crude drugs by regular physicians. 

Alexander H. Stephens, M.D., formerly president of and professor in the old 
College of Physicians and Surgeons of New York, my teacher, delivered an 
address before the State Medical Society and the Legislature at Albany, when 
he said ; " We claim to be the exclusive depositors of sound medical knowl- 
edge, because we alone seek it at the only true and legitimate scource. Be- 
ginning with the epochs coeval with the latter historical times of the Old 
Testament, the science of medicine and the art of healing are the accumulated 
experience and the wisdom of ages. Everything connected with the cure 
of disease has been laboriously examined. The smallest artery, vein, nerve, 
and all other fibres have been minutely described, and changes induced by 
disease have been investigated by the aid of chemistry, electricity, and the 
microscope. In no other science has new descriptions advanced so far. All 
the facts relating to remedies and the nature and cure of diseases are made 
more and more available to the student by careful arrangement. 

" The vocation of the practising physician is the spirit of Christianity in ac- 
tion. It consists not alone in healing the sick, in soothing the afflicted, and 
recalling the wandering intellect, but also in cherishing a love of peace and 
moderation amongst all men, and in promoting moral and intellectual im- 
provement. The practice of the healing art is an occupation intrinsically dig- 
nified. It cannot be divested of this quality by the humble condition of the 
practitioner, or by the repulsive nature of any of his duties; still less by the 
lowly condition of his patient. In the most abject human being the true 
physician recognizes a fellow-man ; in the most exalted, nothing more. The 
offspring of the highest and the lowest, in the first moments of their exist- 
ence, come under his care, alike naked and helpless. The screen which in 
after life conceals many of their weaknesses and some of their virtues, ever 
open more or less to the medical observer, is for him removed by sickness 
and misfortune. Before the man of healing the trappings of greatness are 
laid aside and the cloak of deformity is dropped j beauty puts off her orna- 
ments, and without a blush modesty raises her veil. And when, at last, 

2 3 8 


man is about to take his departure into the abyss of eternity, he strips off 
all disguise and stands revealed in his primitive nakedness and helplessness. 
Surely those who hold such relations to society should be learned, honest, 
discreet, and wise ; trained by pure liberal studies and by illustrious ex- 
amples to be ever true to science and humanity elevated by education 
and Christianity to rise above all that is low or sordid." There is no longer 
any more recognition of the real old-school doctor and his mysterious so- 
called remedies than there is of the assumptions and assertions of the al- 
chemist of the sixteenth or seventeenth century. The fact is, homceopathy 
may well be recognized as the popular medical delusion of the day, and put 
on record as the medical myth or mythology of the nineteenth century. 

It is generally known, or ought to be, that the great regular medical pro- 
fession is in one complete fellowship in all this country and throughout all 
countries, and hence is completely inclusive of all true male and female 
physicians and remedies ; but it will not accept nor in anyway recognize any 
sort of sect, ism, or pathy. It now embraces, and has during the nineteenth 
century, all best medicines, means, and methods for preventing disease among 
the people, for relieving suffering, for healing the sick and wounded, for 
preserving life and limb and the reason of mind. All that is best and good 
found in the various ancient medical sects and schools, or is found in any 
more recent research, or taken from any quack or granny, is thankfully re- 
ceived and appropriated, because it belongs to the all-including regular 
medical profession. If there is any question or difference of opinion in 
regard to any medicine, dose, or method, or other important matter, we 
have clinics and medical journals, and societies for observation and for 
improvement, where fair and gentlemanly discussion can be had in the 
presence of facts and science. 

At the last year's annual meeting of the Massachusetts Medical Society 
an address was given by Dr. H. C. Brown, who said: " We are fellows of a 
noble line of ancestors, medical men of the old school, aye, as old as when 
the first child was born in the Garden of Eden and our first parents minis- 
tered to the aches and ails of their children — men of the new school, yes, a 
broad school, old and new, which embraces every invention, discovery, and 
suggestion which can minister to the good of mankind, from whatever source 
it comes, — so long as it proves worthy and the best, — down to the latest mo- 
ment of recorded time." Such true medical science is now conceded by all 
culture to be the highest and the noblest of the sciences. 

What reason, then, it may be asked again, is there for the present exist- 
ence of any such narrow, exclusive dogmatic pathy or ism ? Whatever 
science and common sense and experience approves is more than welcome, 
and all else is rejected. Then why does homceopathy exist, since it is not 
recognized as a part of the regular medical profession ? Simply, the same 
as many other doubtful things exist, namely, because they are patronized 



without being thoroughly understood. It may be asked why quackery or 
Mormonism exists. Because there are classes of people who condone or 
patronize them, and others proselyte for them ; and yet all good and 
thoughtful people lament their existence. 

However, in the last dozen or twenty years, since the war, this sect called 
homceopathists has evidently been on the wane, as to unity or uniformity 
and pure homoeopathic practice, as indeed it had some time before been 
losing largely in numbers and influence also throughout Great Britain, and 
before that in Paris, Berlin, Vienna, and all Europe. That is, where it be- 
gan to flourish, had its head, and was best known, there it began first to 
decay and die. Such is true also of a certain class of animals ; their tail 
will continue to wiggle and even make more flourish than natural for a 
long time after the head is cut off and the body is dead. This, then, must 
be a " symptom," and we may regard it as significant. 

The vigilance of the homceopathists in proselyting is something wonderful. 
"Yes, homoeopathy is in Congress, and will be in every department by and 
by* The effort to get homoeopathic physicians in the army and navy may 
fail, but it looks now as if the pressure would be very great — possibly suc- 
cessful. There is no use disguising the fact that the record of the surgical 
exploit in the case of President Garfield is having a depressing effect on the 
regular school. . . . Allopathy is under a cloud, and now is the time to 
push our cause at all points. It is to be hoped that every one who reads 
this will see the advantage to be gained, not only in Congress, but also in 
every community, by widely circulated petitions. Those who have not re- 
ceived blank copies of the petition should write to Dr. and get one 

and start it among their patients and candid people. It will give the cause 
a boom all around. The American love of fair play and equal rights will 
aid this cause wonderfully. Just the present status of the bill we are not 
able to ascertain. . Persistent united efforts will move Congress." 

" The fair for the Garfield Monumental Hospital was not such a grand suc- 
cess as some hoped it would be. The fact that homoeopathy is to be given no 
fair showing in it, and the other fact, of the movement to establish a homoeo- 
pathic hospital in this central city, has had its influence. Such a hospital is 
needed . . . and should have help from Congress. Homoeopathy is well 
represented here. Most of the physicians here are persons of strong indi- 
viduality, able representative men. Most of them have widespread circles 
of admirers, and the lady members of our ranks here are both able and 

The need of such information as this little work is intended to give to 
general readers is now again made manifest. The Boston Daily Adver. 
User of August 6, 1884, has in a report of State House matters the follow- 
ing : " A scene of more than ordinary significance occurred at the office 

* See U. S. Homoeopathic Medical Investigator, January, 1883. 



of the Secretary of State yesterday. . . . The establishment of a state 
homoeopathic hospital is a direct recognition by the state of the homoe- 
opathic school of medicine, in the face of persistent and protracted opposi- 
tion from the allopaths. After the homoeopathic trustees had taken the 
oath of office four of them met in Room B. and chose a president and 
secretary." Thus we see also that the reporter speaks familiarly of the 
supposed two schools, homoeopathy and allopathy, as if their existence 
were actually true ; for such is the too general impression in certain por- 
tions of the community, and this accounts for such public recognition. 

The real facts were, that some of the members of the Legislature were 
homceopathists, and that a leading professor in that school repeatedly ap- 
peared before that representative body and claimed that as a portion of the 
people are homceopathists therefore they should have control of some of 
the state hospitals, and that this professor's statements were entertained. 
Suppose the Roman Catholics, or the Methodists, or Baptists, should make 
the same plea for their exclusive control of some of the public schools, or 
the botanical doctors for exclusive state hospitals, would such propositions 
be entertained ? Why not, if an exclusive sect of doctors are so favored, why 
not others and the various denominations of Christians? Such a mistake 
could occur only from the too prevalent impression that homoeopathy is just 
as much a scientific theory and practice of medicine as is that of the great 
regular medical profession. As Massachusetts has lately become noted for 
having had a " very peculiar " governor, so now we are to be distinguished 
for having, at this day, a state homoeopathic hospital for the insane ! Is it 
not about time for us to expect applications for an electropathic hospital, 
and an allopathic or hydropathic state hospital, and perhaps a branch of 
Mormonism, within the commonwealth of Massachusetts? 

We have another prominent example to the same effect. A few years 
ago there was a very wealthy and eccentric business man who was a stren- 
uous advocate of homoeopathy, but he knew more about fish and finance 
than he did about the learned professions, or potency in homoeopathy, or 
the practice of medicine. He was connected with one of the most flourish- 
ing and excellent religious denominations, who, in their prosperity, deter- 
mined to found an university in the centre of these Eastern States. This 
wealthy man was elected a trustee, together with other non-professional 
men, some of whom also happened to be homceopathists, or rather their 
wives were. So that in making up funds and arranging things for this new 
school the eccentric man proposed to endow the university, or the medical 
department of it, with a large sum, provided they adopted homoeopathy, and 
had it taught to male and female students. This large sum of money was 
needed and it carried the day ; so that that denomination and their excel- 
lent university, with their constellation of eminent professors of classical 
and modern literature, science, and philosophy, theology and law, have had 
foisted upon them this department of sophistry 1 


2 4 I 

In times past some physician put upon record that he thought " the 
practice of medicine is an uncertain science." This is still often quoted at 
the present day, as if true as it was ages ago. And it is made an excuse for 
trying medicines made under the " certain law of homoeopathy," which are said 
also to be so pure, exact, and reliable I If these statements were only true 
there would be reason in it. But one might as well put to sea on a raft of straw 
because a Hahnemann says it is the safest way to cross the ocean. Sup- 
pose an old sea captain, in a moment of depressed mood, perhaps after he 
had lost his ship, should give as his opinion from experience "that naviga" 
tion in the long run is an uncertain science," because on approaching the 
coast there often is thick heavy weather, snow storms, or fogs, or squalls, or 
heavy sea, a gale of wind, and that perhaps ahead, and who could tell just 
where he is? Even if he could call a pilot (the specialist) who is perfectly 
familiar with the rocks and shoals about the entrance of that harbor, yet he 
is not always certain of getting safely in, for he cannot see his bearings. 
He might examine the reckoning and cast the lead to find soundings and 
the tide, and the sand or color of mud it brings up, and so put the helm to 
port or to starboard for bringing the ship into the channel, and yet he will 
sometimes fail. Besides, there are hulks adrift at sea as well as icebergs, 
and the ocean is dotted over with innumerable ships and steamers going 
very swiftly in all directions, in the darkest nights as well as days, and there 
are accidents liable to occur on board the ship herself, therefore " naviga- 
tion is a very uncertain science." The fact is, thousands of people, less 
spleeny, trust themselves to it, not only from business necessity but also for 
pleasure, because for the most part it is not uncertain, but very certain. 
So, in all curable cases, is the regular practice of medicine by a competent 
and skilful physician. 

The venerable Dr. John L. Atlee, of Philadelphia, in the course of his 
presidential address before the American Medical Association, held last 
spring at Cleveland, Ohio, said: "I have been a graduate in medicine sixty- 
three years. In my early clay, previous to the establishment of medical 
societies throughout the country, and the organization of this great Asso- 
ciation and the general adoption of the Code of Ethics, I saw many disas- 
trous effects from the want of union and brotherly consideration and kind- 
ness. The medical men of that day were often in trouble and difficulties ; 
patients were sometimes transferred without ceremony, and so great was 
the jealousy existing among them no medical society could be formed for 
twenty years in my native city. Instead of being taken by the hand by the 
older physicians, every obstacle was thrown in my way, — consultations were 
refused, and the treatment of my patients unfavorably criticised. By the 
organization of medical societies, and adoption of the Code of Ethics, a 
wonderful change has been effected. We now feel it our duty and privi- 
lege to sustain our younger brethren, to treat them with courtesy and kind- 


ness, to save them from their errors, and encourage them in all their good 
work. Had the adoption of the Code of Ethics no other result than this, it 
would have been a blessing to the medical profession. But it has accom- 
plished more. 7/ has put a seal of condemnation on all' isms' and developed 
an esprit de corps that has purified and enlarged the boundaries of our 
science, and greatly increased the usefulness and the social standing of the 
profession. One word more and I have done. I am completely satisfied, 
near the close of a long life, that in no other career can a man more fully 
accomplish his whole duty to God and to his fellow men; so that when life 
here is ended, it can be truly said of him, — and be it said with all reverence, 
— as it was said of Him whom we should imitate, pertransivit benefaciendo, 
" he went about doing good." On this line and to this end every true 
physician feels it to be his high privilege, as well as duty, to unswervingly 
purpose and work. 

An art then, of all others the most noble, will be still cultivated by men 
of erudition and judgment, to the great benefit of mankind. 







y m 

Accession no. 


Garratt, A.C 
Myths in medicine, i 

Call no. 




: ' 




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